Were ‘activist scientists’ behind European Union neonicotinoids ban?

| | February 10, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Henry Miller is a physician and molecular biologist who was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology.] 

[A] case of undisclosed activist conflict of interest was unearthed at the end of January [2017] by investigator David Zaruk in Brussels. The case involves Gérard Arnold–a member of the scientific panel at the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA)–who helped draw up EFSA’s “Bee Guidance Document,” while concealing his ongoing leadership role in Apimondia, an anti-pesticide global federation of beekeepers’ organizations.

According to Zaruk’s investigation, Arnold was found to be serving as the “coordinator” of the anti-pesticide Apimondia working group on “Adverse Effects of Agrochemicals and Bee Medicines on Bees” (designated “AWG 9,” which Arnold apparently founded in 2010) during the 2011-2013 period while he was working with EFSA on the Bee Guidance Document. In spite of being required by EFSA’s rules to disclose such a relationship, Arnold failed to do so.

Related article:  Bee crisis? How intelligent sticky drones could buzz alongside nature's pollinators

[The Bee Guidance Document] provided a foundation for the European Commission’s 2013 decision to impose a supposedly “temporary” ban on neonic pesticides…

…if consistently applied, this EFSA guidance could end up eliminating as potentially harmful virtually all crop protection products in Europe. The resulting damage to European agriculture and industry would be enormous.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists’ Duplicity And Conflicts Of Interest Distort Regulation And Harm Farmers

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