• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
NGOs sue Monsanto over pesticide safety
File photo: German protest against Monsanto. Photo: Dirk Ingo Franke/Wikimedia

NGOs sue Monsanto over pesticide safety

The Local/AFP · 2 Mar 2016, 15:55

Published: 02 Mar 2016 15:55 GMT+01:00

The legal complaint was filed in Vienna by Austrian environmental group Global 2000, which spearheads the movement against Monsanto and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).

"There are suspicions that EU authorities and the industry tried on the basis of incorrect data analysis to keep glyphosate in the European market despite its likely carcinogenic effects on humans," said Global 2000's lawyer, Josef Unterweger.

The complaint came days before representatives of the EU's 28 members will vote on March 7 and 8 on whether to continue to allow the use of glyphosate.

First used in the 1970s as the main ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, it is now one of the world's most popular weedkillers.

But in more recent times its usage has sparked controversy, in particular after the UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said last March that Roundup and similar products were "probably" carcinogenic.

However, the EFSA -- which advises the European Commission, the EU's executive body -- found in November 2015 that glyphosate was "unlikely" to cause cancer.

The report prompted 96 prominent scientists, including from the IARC, to send a letter to the Commission, warning that EFSA report was "not credible because it is not supported by the evidence".

Despite the criticism, the European Commission last week revealed it would support an extension of glyphosate's license, due to expire in June, based on the EFSA's recommendation.

Global 2000 and other European NGOs on Wednesday called on EU members to "vote against an extension of glyphosate".

They accuse the EFSA of basing its findings entirely on a study provided by the German food safety authority (BfR), which in turn "obtained its data directly from Monsanto".

Story continues below…

As a result, Global 2000 said it was also suing the German watchdog.

"Our analysis revealed serious breaches against the guidelines of cancer data analysis, which show the discrepancy between the (IARC) on the one hand, and Monsanto, BfR and EFSA on the other," said Global 2000 spokesman Helmut Burtscher.

"Authorities have to act in the public interest... This has not been the case for glyphosate."

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Merkel wants to send back dud migrants
Photo: FNDE/Wikimedia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under fire at home over her refugees policy, called Saturday for Europe to secure deals with third countries to send back migrants who do not qualify for asylum.

Police officer run over by prisoner on day release
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A police officer in Vienna is in a critical condition after being knocked down by a prisoner on day release who was riding a Yamaha motorbike at full speed.

Jealousy drives man to blow up ex-girlfriend with hand grenade
Prnjavor in northern Bosnia. Photo: Cuman/Wikipedia

A Bosnian man living in Austria travelled back to his homeland to blow up his ex-girlfriend with a hand grenade when he found out she was seeing somebody else.

Teenager dies in horror crash on Austria's Westautobahn
File photo: Jacktd/Wikimedia

One person has died and seven others are seriously injured after a horrific road accident on the Westautobahn (A1) in Lower Austria.

Taiwanese tourist rescued from Austrian mountain via WhatsApp
Dachstein. Photo: Wikipedia

A tourist from Taiwan who got lost on Austria’s Dachstein mountain was rescued after sending a friend in Hong Kong images via WhatsApp.

Man jailed for making hundreds of sex calls to teachers
Wels court. Photo: Austrian Justice Ministry

A 59-year-old man from Upper Austria has received a 15-month conditional prison sentence after he phoned hundreds of young female teachers and sexually harassed them.

Comedian sets sights on Austrian parliament
Roland Düringer. Photo: ORF

An Austrian comedian, Roland Düringer, has founded a new political party and says he plans to introduce it in time for Austria’s next parliamentary election.

Austrian election set for early December after 'gluegate'
Austrian parliament building. Photo: Wikimedia

Austria's parliament has approved December 4th as the new date for the presidential election re-run in a scandal-ridden race.

Lovesick football fan to blame for mass brawl in Linz
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A football fan jilted by an ex-lover is thought to have started a fight between football supporters and a group of asylum seekers earlier this month in Linz.

Austrian far-right leader publishes drugs test
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's popular far-right Freedom Party, long subject to allegations he takes illegal drugs, has published results of tests that he said show he is clean.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,485
jobs available