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Plagiarism? EU voting on re-authorization of glyphosate deferred

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Spraying pesticides

The EU vote on the re-authorization of the pesticide glyphosate by Monsanto has been postponed. (Photo © Pixabay)

Did the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) copy a report by Monsanto? Back in September, the Greens already expressed this suspicion. Now, the voting over the re-authorization of glyphosate has been postponed.

In the focus of criticism is mainly one evaluation report, which was published by the BfR concerning health risks of glyphosate. The report also constitutes the scientific basis for the re-authorization of glyphosate for another 10 years proposed by the European Commission.

The office of Harald Ebner, expert on agriculture and pesticides in the Green fraction of the German Bundestag, views the plagiarism allegation as being acknowledged by an expert assessment of Dr Stefan Weber. The plagiarism investigator has compared three chapters of the BfR-report with passages from the admission application by Monsanto. As the results suggest, text passages seem to have been copied word for word and sources have not been named.

Ebner states: "And yet, after my very specific request in 2015, the German federal government has reassured that the evaluation report was written by employers of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment." Ebner demands that a re-authorization of glyphosate based on a plagiarized risk evaluation must not be allowed.

Martin Häusling: “Risk evaluation process has to be reviewed”

Last Thursday, the EU member states in the standing commission have deferred the voting about the re-authorization of glyphosate.

Martin Häusling (Greens), member of the agricultural and environmental committee in the European Parliament welcomes the decision: "Europe mustn’t get itself into taking the consequences resulting from the complicity between the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, as being in charge of the EU re-authorization process, with the agrochemical concern Monsanto."

However, a mere delay of the decision is not enough according to Häusling. The whole process of risk evaluation has to be reviewed. "This means, the European Commission has to officially reject the BfR-report and to re-assign the leading risk evaluation", says Häusling. Beyond that, he considers a reform of the general EU risk evaluation process as reasonable.


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