Quantcast

EU Parliament Bans Monsanto Lobbyists

GMO
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

FDA

Food manufacturer General Mills issued a voluntary recall of more than 600,000 pounds, or about 120,000 bags, of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour this week after a sample tested positive for a bacteria strain known to cause illness.

Read More Show Less
Imelda flooded highway 69 North in Houston Thursday. Thomas B. Shea / Getty Images

Two have died and at least 1,000 had to be rescued as Tropical Storm Imelda brought extreme flooding to the Houston area Thursday, only two years after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less