By Dr. Mercola
Members in the European Parliament (MEPs) announced that Monsanto officials would no longer be able to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or even use “digital resources” in Brussels or Strasbourg parliament premises, banning them from parliament.
The blow came after the biotech giant refused to attend a hearing organized by environment and agriculture committees over allegations that Monsanto engaged in regulatory interference, by influencing studies into the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in their Roundup herbicide.
The Guardian quoted Green party president Philippe Lamberts, who stated, “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European parliament … U.S. corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.” This is one of the harshest examples yet in terms of a large government body not allowing Monsanto lobbyists to talk to its members going forward.
In the U.S., Monsanto has significant influence on government agencies, but even in the U.K., which was originally more resistant to Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the company has made a lot of headway in changing their image. That being said, European Commission leaders met in March 2016 to vote on whether to renew a 15-year license for glyphosate, which was set to expire in June that year.
The decision was tabled amid mounting opposition, as more than 180,000 Europeans signed a petition calling for glyphosate to be banned outright. Ultimately, more than 2 million signatures were collected against relicensing the chemical. In June 2016, however, the European Commission granted an 18-month extension to glyphosate while they continued the review. A ruling is expected by the end of 2017, which means the lobby ban could not have come at a more inopportune time for Monsanto.