The controversy over Monsanto and its best-selling herbicide Roundup is just beginning to heat up in the United States over release of the “Monsanto Papers,” which painted a picture of the company doing everything in its power to prevent the independent scientific process.
Monsanto has long challenged assertions, including the one in Europe by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is a “probable human carcinogen.”
But now, one of the biggest countries in Europe is adding to the skepticism of Monsanto’s flagship product, announcing that it will vote against the renewal of the chemical.
France to Vote Against Monsanto Chemical Reauthorization
According to this article from the website Euractiv.com, France will vote against the reauthorization of glyphosate by the European Union for the next ten years because of the “uncertainties that persist with regard to its dangerousness,” a source in the ecology and sustainable development ministry told the AFP.
The vote could potentially block the qualified majority of EU member states needed to renew the license, the articled continued.
Despite the spring 2015 ruling of the IARC, the EU’s chemicals agency said in March that glyphosate shouldn’t be considered a carcinogen. A review in May concluded that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet,” the article added.
But with the license scheduled to expire at the end of this year, a battle is raging over what is becoming one of the most controversial approvals in recent memory.
This past June, over a million people signed a petition demanding an EU ban on glyphosate.
Skepticism of the science and alleged safety of glyphosate and other Monsanto chemicals may be at an all-time high, especially considering the recent release of the aforementioned papers that leaked emails showing Monsanto has ghostwritten research that was supposedly done by top academics, and worked hand-in-hand with regulators to squash independent safety reviews.
The emails also revealed that even within the United States’ own EPA, there was disagreement over the safety of Roundup, which is sprayed in large amounts on U.S. crops including Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GMOs.
Critics also say that much of the science on glyohosate has questionable ties to the industry and those who stand to benefit from it widepsread continued use.
In Europe, scientific studies on glyphosate have actually been withheld from public viewing and have instead been relegated to “reading rooms.” secure places where officials can read studies on the chemicals and all who enter are subject to confidentiality agreements.
For more information on France’s decision and the upcoming vote, check out the full article by clicking here.