The European parliament has banned Monsanto lobbyists after the chemical company refused to attend a hearing into allegations that it interfered with safety studies.
Monsanto representatives are now banned from meeting MEPs and attending parliamentary inquiries. It is the first time MEPs have used powers to block access for companies that ignore summons to give evidence.
“One has to assume it is effective immediately,” a spokesman for the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani told the Guardian.
In a statement posted on the European Greens group website, president Philippe Lamberts said: “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European Parliament.”
“US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.
“There remain many uncertainties in the assessment of the pesticide glyphosate. Monsanto has to face the questions of parliamentarians and should not hinder the clarification process.”
MEPs were said to be angered by Monsanto’s decision not to attend an event run by the environment and agriculture committees on 11 October.
Academics and regulators were due to hear allegations that the US agrichemical giant exerted undue influence over studies about glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s controversial RoundUp weedkiller.
RoundUp brought in around £3.5bn last year for Monsanto and has been linked to increased cancer rates. The firm is currently locked in a battle to renew its EU licence to sell the product with a decision expected to come in November.
The European food safety authority attracted criticism earlier this month after it emerged that it had copied and pasted dozens of pages of analysis from a Monsanto report into its own recommendation on RoundUp.
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