Thursday, September 28, 2017

Monsanto Banned from Contacting EU Officials After It Declined to Appear in Public EU Hearing

European newspapers reported a rather startling new development in the EU as the European government bans Monsanto from contacting elected officials.

See The Guardian's coverage of this landmark move here.

This is a striking contrast to the political attitude of those in power in the U.S. re oversight of Monsanto.

Monsanto had been invited to appear on a panel scheduled for Oct. 11 to face criticisms over its involvement in what were supposed to be independent safety studies for glyphosate produced by EFSA (and a German affiliate), which, as The Guardian reported earlier this month, were found to contain many pages of material taken directly from Monsanto's documents. The multinational giant declined to appear at the Oct. 11, saying that the hearing was not an appropriate forum for the discussion.

The EU is also considering whether or not to approve Bayer's bid to acquire Monsanto, which is becoming an increasingly controversial topic. Farmers in the U.S. are also concerned about economic consolidation in the proposed merger.

One of the EFSA documents, according to The Guardian report, quoted verbatim from a report written by "former and current Monsanto employees John Aquavella and Donna Farmer, challenging the results of a study which found an association between glyphosate use and non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)."

An EPA convened group of toxicology and epidemiology experts earlier this year found that numerous studies (published in peer reviewed journals) making the connection between NHL and glyphosate or Roundup were credible.

In the U.S., Monsanto is currently facing lawsuits from 3-5,000 people who suffered themselves from NHL or had a family member who did, which they attribute to using the herbicide Roundup (which contains glyphosate).

Hear lead attorney Timothy Litzenburg here. He is representing more than 1,000 cases for NHL victims.

More than 700,000 pounds of glyphosate are used on wine grape vineyards in California each year.

See the map below for a view of where one of the main types of glyphosate is applied to wine grape vineyards statewide.

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