Three Chinese citizens are taking China’s Ministry of Agriculture to court in a bid to make public a toxicology report supporting the approval of Monsanto’s popular weed killer, Roundup, 27 years ago.
The case, a rare example of a lawsuit by private citizens against the Chinese government, comes amid renewed attention on glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, after a controversial report by a World Health Organization group last month found it to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” – a claim denied by Monsanto.
It also underlines the deep-seated fears held by some Chinese over genetically modified food.
“The government is taking actions to deal with other food safety issues but it is not dealing with the GMO problem,” said Yang Xiaolu, 62, one of the plaintiffs bringing the case and a long-time GMO activist.
Monsanto officials have said glyphosate has been proven safe for decades, and the company has demanded a retraction from the WHO over its recent report.
Yang and the other plaintiffs, Li Xiangzhen and Tian Xiangping, are demanding in the lawsuit that the agriculture ministry make public the animal test that the ministry cited as evidence to support its approval of Roundup in 1988.
The lawsuit comes at a time when the government is trying to foster positive public opinion of GMO food crops, currently banned for cultivation, but seen as crucial to future food security.
GMO seeds under development for China include those that are resistant to glyphosate.
Read full, original article: Chinese citizens sue government over transparency on Monsanto herbicide