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A Good Day for Bad science in the EU- Lynn Boylan MEP

13 April, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today expressed her disappointment that MEPs have voted, to endorse, to a large extent, a very flawed EU re-approval of the herbicide glyphosate.

Ms Boylan said:

“The European Food Safety Authority has used secret industry-sponsored studies to claim that glyphosate is safe. EFSA of course refuses to publish these studies which have therefore not been peer reviewed by the scientific community, as is the normal practice in credible scientific safety assessment.

‘EFSA’s conclusion furthermore goes against the World Health Organisation’s expert cancer group which assessed glyphosate last year in a fully transparent and independent manner and came to the conclusion that it was in fact, ‘probably carcinogenic’.

‘Whilst even the right-wing groups in the European Parliament found the European Commission’s proposal to reapprove glyphosate for the maximum limit of 15 years unacceptable, they have still gone ahead to vote in favour of a seven year approval.”

The Dublin MEP continued,

“Given the serious lack of verifiable and published data from EFSA on this issue and the lack of consensus between EFSA and the WHO, I believe MEPs should have called on the Commission to go back to the drawing board and ensure any recommendations it makes, no matter the substance, are scrupulous in their demand for independent, transparent and peer-reviewed scientific risk assessment before any approval is made.

'Unlike some other substances that the WHO has classified as probably carcinogenic, glyphosate is impossible to avoid. It is found in ground- and surface water, in food like bread and meat and even in beer.

Research in 18 EU-countries shows that 44% of all people have glyphosate traces in their bodies. In some cases levels found were up to 42 times higher than what is normally permissible. Especially children and adolescents showed significant high values, in particular those individuals raised on farms.

‘To highlight this exposure I along with other MEPs from across Europe have participated in a scientific project to test for the presence of glyphosate in our urine and are awaiting the results.”

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