News from the EU - Bayer-Monsanto is everywhere!

In this UE special edition: leaked document from the EU Commission on glyphosate renewal, new GMOs, narrow vote on Nature Restauration Law...

Today, our newsletter today is focused on the EU, for a lot is happening there and the hand of Bayer-Monsanto is everywhere.

15 more years of glyphosate destruction in the EU?

Bayer-Monsanto & Co asked the EU to prolong their glyphosate permit with another 15 years. The Food Safety authority EFSA looked into it. They saw quite some issues, but no major concerns. The full report is not published yet. Now PAN Europe reveals that the European Commission is already moving forward a proposal of renewal, without restrictions. Fifteen more years of destructing biodiversity and harming health, what is going on? Is Bayer ruling decision-making?

Why is this a knee fall to Bayer & Co?

Glyphosate and Roundup products are used on a wide scale. It is Europe’s most sold herbicide. The chemical and its toxic breakdown product AMPA cause massive damage to ecosystems, killing biodiversity and polluting soils and waters all over Europe. The substance is linked to cancer and Parkinson’s disease in humans. Many independent studies show genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. Others show neurotoxicity and damage to the gut microbiome.

Is the EFSA report science-based?

Now this is a good question. The evaluation is mostly based on specific science: reports commissioned by the industry. The system used by the regulatory institutions in the EU relies on a special standard to look at studies. Most independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies do not comply with this standard. There are some 7000 university studies on the toxicity of glyphosate and its products. Only 30 are taken into consideration. Of course the conclusions of all industry studies are taken seriously. Guess who helped to develop this standard…

Help to raise concerns! Use this easy tool to write to the members of the EU Parliament. The member states decide later this year, but parliamentarians can raise questions now. The proposed text stimulates them to support pesticide reduction. Add your own text and ask them to also support a glyphosate ban!

  • Read more about the leaked document from the EU Commission.
  • Read more about Pestgate, why the EU pesticide authorisation does not work the way it should.

New STOP Glyphosate website

The coalition that is campaigning against the renewal of glyphosate has launched a new website. It details all problems and concerns with glyphosate and links to all scientific studies. Check it out now!

Green light for new GMOs in the EU?

The EU Commission has launched its highly controversial proposal to deregulate New GMOs or ‘new genomic techniques’ like CRISPR. This will increase risks for the environment and health, and undermine the rights of farmers and consumers.

The new proposal would mean:

  • No risk assessment for health and the environmental impacts of these new GMOs.
  • No consumer labelling, no traceability, no testing: Consumers will not know if they are eating new GMOs.
  • New GMOs are not allowed in organic farming, but no measures are foreseen to allow GM-free and organic farmers and breeders to keep their fields GMO-free.
  • Farmers would be more dependent on patents: corporations already dominating the patent pool on these technologies, like Bayer and BASF, will be able to enter the EU market with unlabelled and untraceable – but patented – GMOs, which will further increase their control over farmers and food production in Europe.

Hundreds of environmental and farming groups are strongly opposed to this proposal.

Read more: EU Commission proposes to deregulate new GMOs in spectacular submission to the biotech industry

Narrow vote on Nature Restoration Law

Nature and biodiversity in Europe are in a dire state. Urgent measures are needed to turn the tide of destruction. On July 12, the EU Parliament narrowly voted in favour of the Nature Restoration Law. This came after an unprecedented – and often outright absurd – disinformation campaign aiming to destroy it, led by conservative and right-wing politicians and agriculture and fisheries lobbies. The very much weakened proposal made it through parliament and will now be further discussed in the so-called trilogue between EU Commission, Council (Member States) and Parliament.

Read more on the website of Birdlife International

Photo Credit: BirdLife International

Is Bayer going to sell the Crop Science Monsanto division?

Rumors say that Bayer may be working on a plan to sell its Crop Science division. The takeover of Monsanto didn’t go so well, so the new chief might be thinking of splitting off this section. More news is expected in a couple of months. Bayer might come up with some tricks to partially protect the new owners against the cost of future litigation.

Get more information on Reuters

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