GM Free Cymru

Petitions 813-08 and 436-10: Developments in May 2012

Carolyn Leffler-Roth Petitions Committee

10th May 2012

Dear Carolyn

Re: Petitions 0436/2010 and 0813/2008 EFSA

Thank you very much for your letter. Yes, I was greatly relieved to see that Diana Banati has gone -- and that her decision to resign was a result of great pressure from the Parliament and from bodies like Testbiotech and Corporate Europe Observatory. After that other scandal involving Suzy Renckens, I hope that something is being done about those revolving doors at last.......

However, the issue of revolving doors was but one of the issues addressed in my Petition 813-08 and in the joint petition from scientists, number 436-10. As you may recall, in my presentation in March 2011 I asked for the following:


Since neither EFSA nor the Commission has taken action to address my concerns, I respectfully ask the Committee once again to bring forward the following suggestions toParliament:

• Please place it on the record that Parliament will insist that EFSA must be reformed to eliminate "revolving doors" and include a much broader base of representation. (This is being dealt with to some degree!) • Please place it on record that all research contained in application dossiers MUST be transparent, replicable and verifiable, and that applicants will henceforth be required to confirm in writing, in advance, that they will make their GM products, comparator isolines and reference materials accessible to independent researchers. Independent studies must ALWAYS be brought into the risk assessment process and given due respect. This will greatly enhance public trust. (This has not been addressed properly by EFSA.) • Please encourage greater involvement by Member States in risk assessments, and remind the Commission that where there is disagreement and uncertainty on health andsafety matters, the Precautionary Principle must always come into play. (Again, this has not been addressed. If anything EFSA has increased its power, and effectively now monopolises the process of risk assessment and the scientific evaluation of application dossiers. Member states have pulled back from this process, on the pretext of "not wishing to duplicate scientific effort".) REQUESTS FOR ACTION

I hereby ask the Parliament to condemn, by resolution, the following:

(a) over-dependence upon scientific evidence produced entirely under the control of the applicant; (this has not changed)

(b) the use of any results from scientific experiments that are, for whatever reason, non-replicable; (EFSA still accepts results from non-replicable experiments as a matter of course.)

(c) the blocking of independent research through "non-cooperation" by GM corporations and patent holders. (this has not changed.)

(d) any actions by EFSA to prevent full pre-approval release of research dossiers; (dossiers are no more open and accessible than they ever were.)

(e) any attempts by EFSA to water down or speed up application / assessment procedures for future GM products; (the regulatory regime now in force does indeed constitute a "fast track" system with lower scientific requirements placed upon applicants.)

(f) any attempts to "simplify" the safety study requirements for "stacked" GM events; (EFSA has a completely cavalier and unscientific attitude to applications relating to "stacked GM events.")

(g) the vilification and intimidation of independent scientists who happen to discover GM-related health and safety effects. (This continues to this day, with the active involvement of organizations and corporations with which EFSA does business on a daily basis.)

As a result of all this, I fear that nothing much has changed, and I am convinced that until these matters are properly addressed, the health and safety of the people of Europe will continue to be put at risk by EFSA, which continues to place the interests of GM applicants above those of European consumers.

Please, therefore, will you continue to press EFSA on the basis that key Petition issues remain unresolved?

Many thanks

Brian John