Glyphosate, Monsanto and Europe: How science and reason almost lost out to hysteria and emotion

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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.

The glyphosate saga is a fascinating case study in how easily politics can derail science. In watching the glyphosate issue evolve I found myself gradually becoming more and more aghast at how quickly and thoughtlessly evidence-based policymaking was thrown away in European centers of power.

I don’t want to over-hype it, but it felt a little like mob rule. You can still burn the witch in Europe — if the witch is called Monsanto.  Over glyphosate Monsanto was stitched up good and proper, as we say in England.

But no one feels comfortable being in the position of defending a company with a reputation as terrible as Monsanto, so despite the obvious perversion of both science and natural justice, the activists very nearly got away with it.

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All in all this was a textbook case of how science and reason so easily lose out to hysteria and emotion, especially when you can find a good pantomime villain. This was never about glyphosate as a chemical. It was about glyphosate as a symbol, a symbol for opposition to Monsanto, pesticides, GMOs and a modern farming system which populist factions of different political stripes, led by the Greens, now love to hate.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Europe still burns witches — if they’re named Monsanto

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