Defeat for agribusiness lobby
The European Parliament voted today to introduce new transparency rules for EU food safety assessments, as part of the EU’s "general food law". The amended law will oblige the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to publish the industry studies used in European safety evaluations of products that can end up in food – such as pesticides, GMOs and animal feed additives.
Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “The chemical industry will still test the safety of their own products, but at least now the studies will be published so that independent scientists can scrutinise their contents and the advice EFSA gives to lawmakers. EFSA has in the past privileged corporate interests over the public’s right to know, so we will be watching closely to see that the new rules are properly applied.”
The European Commission proposal for this new law was a direct response to the #StopGlyphosate European Citizens’ Initiative, through which more than a million citizens asked the Commission to ban glyphosate, reform the pesticide approval procedure, and set mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use. They asked specifically that all studies used to back up regulatory approval of pesticides be published.
On 7 March the European Court of Justice found that EFSA violated existing EU transparency laws by withholding extensive sections of industry studies on glyphosate.
Corporate Europe Observatory commented, "This victory is the result of many years of campaigning by scientists and citizens, in particular the Stop Glyphosate European Citizens Initiative (ECI). While this reform should have been much broader, it is a rare defeat for agribusiness lobbyists, despite their attempt to derail and hollow out the measure. But the battle isn’t over, because industry will be looking for loopholes, and we will have to ensure this transparency law is meaningfully implemented."
Background to this story is here.