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Boylan calls on Irish government to show their hand on controversial glyphosate vote

19 May, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today reacted to the news that the 28 European Member States have been unable to reach agreement on the controversial EU re-approval of the pesticide glyphosate.

‘This meeting today of the European countries’ representatives was intended to confirm or reject the European Commission’s proposal to re-approve glyphosate in spite of the serious doubts surrounding the quality and independence of the safety assessments as carried out by the EU’s Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

‘EFSA have undermined EU scientific credibility and its reputation as a defender of public health with an assessment process which has drawn criticism from health experts, environmental NGOs and transparency campaigners alike.

‘Whilst the WHO’s cancer expert body, IARC, found glyphosate to be ‘probably carcinogenic’ last year using only independent, published and peer-reviewed evidence EFSA on the other hand are refusing to release the industry-sponsored studies which they say were ‘key’ and ‘pivotal’ for their conclusions that glyphosate is ‘unlikely’ to cause cancer.

‘Such actions are an insult to correct practice in scientific safety assessment and can only erode citizens’ trust that the EU institutions are regulating in their favour and not Monsanto’s.

'Today’s news that re-approval was unable to find enough support amongst the EU Member States, even with a looming deadline for when the current approval of glyphosate runs out, points to real concern at the highest levels.

‘I call on the Irish government to end their silence on this issue and show their hand by declaring their position during today’s meeting. From the recent non-legislative motion which was voted on by the European Parliament, we can see that Fine Gael MEPs at least not only want to re-approve this substance in spite of this dubious process but worryingly also want to allow it in children’s playgrounds and other public parks.

‘These secret industry studies used by EFSA must be released for proper and independent evaluation. Re-approval of any pesticide cannot be based on closed-door science.'


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