Glyphosate scandal exposes need to ‘regulate the regulators’, says IUF

The campaign to stop glyphosate reauthorisation in the European Union failed, “but it succeeded brilliantly in exposing the agrochemical industry’s grip on the regulatory agencies tasked with protecting public health and the environment,” global food and farming union IUF has said.

An IUF briefing notes: “In the wake of the Monsanto Papers revelations and effective campaigns channelling public outrage over the EU’s farcical reauthorisation of the world’s most widely used herbicide, the European Parliament last year established a Special PEST Committee to examine the procedures under which pesticides are authorised for use in the European Union.

The PEST Committee’s report, released in December 2018 and approved by an overwhelming cross-party majority of the parliament on 16 January, catalogued the multiple failures of the authorisation process”.

The IUF briefing noted the scandal’s continuing ‘aftershocks’ have had a positive effect, with the EU Council and parliament on 11 February agreeing more rigorous risk assessment procedures. “The new procedures, if followed through on, mark a significant, if partial and preliminary, success for the glyphosate campaign,” it notes. “They fall short of the PEST recommendations (and the European Citizens’ Initiative demands), but can be a lever for prying loose the pesticide lobby’s hold on the public regulatory agencies.”

The briefing concludes: “A window has been opened; the pesticide lobby will be working intensely to slam it shut. Now is the time to step up organising on the broadest possible basis at national, European and international level for an immediate ban on the most toxic agrochemicals, targeted reductions in pesticide use and comprehensive support for a transition to socially and environmentally sustainable agriculture.”

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