Parliamentary question - E-006375/2011Parliamentary question

Suppression of information about the side effects of glyphosate in the herbicide ‘Roundup’

Question for written answer E-006375/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Franz Obermayr (NI)

The US company Monsanto sells a number of broad-spectrum herbicides under the trade name ‘Roundup’ for agriculture and also for amateur gardeners. The active ingredient is the non-selective broadleaf herbicide glyphosate.

According to recent media reports, the Commission was informed in 2002 at the latest of the results of several studies proving that glyphosate has dangerous effects on people and the environment.

Even very small amounts of the substance can cause deformities in frogs and chicken embryos. The results of research showing that the herbicide can not only cause deformities, but also hormone imbalances, DNA damage and cancer, were apparently ignored.

1. Why has the Commission to date kept quiet about the harmful effects of Roundup?

2. Which institutions have carried out investigations or tests on Roundup?

3. How does the Commission intend to react to this scandal being uncovered?

4. Will the Commission now provide information on any possible health risks? Will users and doctors be made sufficiently aware of side effects and any possible long-term damage?

5. Will the Commission cover the higher treatment and research costs that have resulted from its action? If so, from which funds?

OJ C 128 E, 03/05/2012