Molly makes Green EU case clear: fight for change within or be more vulnerable to shady deals

7 March 2016

Molly makes Green EU case clear: fight for change within or be more vulnerable to shady deals
A questionable European Commission process means that a synthetic chemical, Glyphosate, deemed to be carcinogenic could be de-regulated in a vote in early March. Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, explains why this, and other cases like it, are why we need to be in the EU.
In an article published in the, Molly Scott Cato argues that a forthcoming vote to re-authorize a potentially very harmful synthetic agritech chemical demonstrates why the EU is an easy target for eurosceptics. And yet, she clarifies, if we were outside of Europe, the UK would be even more vulnerable.
“It is incumbent on me to share my concerns about the weakness of democratic processes surrounding the authorization of pesticides and GM crops. However, I should be equally clear that this is not a basis to argue for the UK to leave the European Union: the UK government is at least as keen to support corporate agribusiness as the EU Commission. In fact, the UK has been leading the charge for de-regulation - for which read 'the reduction of standards that protect public health' - and for undermining the de facto moratorium on growing GM crops in the EU.”
The article details the tendency for the European Commission to ride roughshod over democratic process, and independent advice. In March 2015 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted an independent study on Glyphosate and found that it “probably causes cancer”.
And yet the Commission has chosen instead to use a study published by The European Food Safety Agency. The EFSA, Molly explains, did not conduct their review with the same rigour as the IARC. Nor, she adds, did they submit it for peer review and those who compiled it did not all submit a declaration of conflict of interest.
Most telling, the EFSA’s report only evaluated the chemical itself, and not its actual in-use form when mixed with the additives that make it a valuable product in agribusiness - such as Roundup.
The forthcoming vote, therefore, will be made on the basis of a questionable report rather than a robust one more readily accepted by the scientific industry. And it won’t be the first time that EC process has made it easier for big agribusiness to trade.
As Molly says, “sadly, this is not the only example of Team Juncker doing a favour for Monsanto and other agrochemical multinationals who rely on agritech for their profits. Last December, the majority of members of the Environment and Public Health committee of the European Parliament voted against the authorisation for the import of a GM maize for food and feed in Europe. Four days later, the European Commission approved this authorization, without even waiting for the outcome of the plenary vote. As it turns out, this maize is Monsanto's NK603 x T25, which is tolerant to - you've guessed it - glyphosate”.