EU food safety chief: Critics of glyphosate safety finding are ‘playing politics’, undermining science

| | April 25, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Politicians who attack the EU agency that ruled the weedkiller glyphosate probably does not cause cancer are in danger of undermining the effectiveness of a body that is key to keeping Europeans safe, its chief warned.

Bernhard Url, executive director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), said his agency is facing unprecedented criticism after concluding in November 2015 that glyphosate – one of the world’s most widely used pesticides and an ingredient in Monsanto’s big seller Roundup – was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”.

Attempts to discredit his agency over its assessment were “unacceptable and short-sighted”, he told Reuters in a rare interview, accusing his critics of undermining science to pursue a “political agenda”.

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Bernhard Url

“If political actors discredit scientific organisations because they don’t like the outcome in one out of 100 cases, they diminish the reputation of an organisation that they as policymakers will need to rely on in future,” he said. “From a political perspective it’s very unwise”.

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Opposition in the European Union has been driven by the European Parliament’s Greens-European Free Alliance and by others, including Greenpeace and a group of scientists led by Christopher Portier from the U.S.-based non-governmental organisation, the Environmental Defense Fund.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Clash of science and politics “dangerous”-EU food safety chief

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