It is becoming increasingly obvious that cronyism and big money are buying influence among lawmakers on several continents when it comes to scientifically vetting many of the chemicals being used in the world’s food supply. That is certainly the case in the United States, where biotech-giants like Monsanto wield far too much sway over agricultural policies, and it is becoming the norm in Europe, as well.
But European officials, at least, are battling back in an effort to scale back the influence of the biotech giants, in favor of doing what is right for agriculture and the global food chain.
As reported by GM Watch, Europe’s health and food safety commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, says that his directorate, DG SANTE, is looking into the possibility of requiring full transparency for industry studies of pesticides.
At present, the industry studies submitted to support regulatory mechanisms and authorizations for the use of pesticides are kept under wraps and out of the public’s eye, as per corporate confidentiality agreements with regulators. However, Andriukaitis says that policy needs to change, and soon.
“We are ready to assess the legal environment,” Andriukaitis said, in reference to certain legal protections in place on industry data. However, he continued, “It’s absolutely crystal clear, we need to change today’s situation. We see different options, but at the moment, yes, the idea is to change the rules, especially keeping in mind the overriding public interest.”