Quantcast

EU Parliament Bans Monsanto Lobbyists

Popular
Campact / Flickr

By Jon Queally

Monsanto lobbyists were officially barred by the European Parliament on Thursday after refusing requests to participate in hearings about the U.S. corporation's efforts to influence regulations of its controversial glyphosate within the 28-nation bloc.

The ban was announced by the parliament's presidential council under rules designed to combat misbehavior by those lobbying the EU's lawmaking body. It is the first time, the Guardian noted, that "MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings."


The Greens/EFA Group in the parliament, which had requested Monsanto's removal after the biotech giant's refusal, welcomed the decision.

"This is strong democracy. Those who escape democratic accountability must be excluded from access to lobbying," said MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA and parliament's rapporteur for Transparency, Accountability and Integrity. "If Monsanto does business in Europe, it must also face up to its responsibilities before the European Parliament."

The Guardian reported:

The lobby ban will be a bitter blow to Monsanto's advocacy campaign ahead of a decision later this year about the relicensing of glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer by one expert WHO panel.

Another deemed it safe for public use, but Monsanto's outreach to regulatory agencies in the US and Europe sparked controversy and prompted the parliamentary hearing.

Philippe Lamberts, president of the Greens/EFA, added, "Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European Parliament. U.S. corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this. There remain many uncertainties in the assessment of the pesticide glyphosate. Monsanto has to face the questions of parliamentarians and should not hinder the clarification process."

In response to the decision in Brussels, critics of the powerful company wondered if the U.S. would ever take such measures:

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More