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Commission defends glyphosate stance

The European Commission has defended its proposal to renew the EU authorisation of the herbicide glyphosate for a further 10 years, despite public concern about its safety.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the health and food safety commissioner, spoke at a European Parliament debate on the safety of glyphosate yesterday. He said that the recent release of internal documents from the US agricultural giant Monsanto, which cast doubt on the integrity of the company’s attempts to demonstrate the safety of glyphosate, should not affect the Commission’s reauthorisation decision.

In March a court in the United States released a batch of emails sent by executives at Monsanto, which suggested the company had considered attempting to ghostwrite publications on the safety of glyphosate that would then be attributed to academics. Monsanto manufactures Roundup, one of the most widely-used glyphosate-based herbicides.

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