Industry writing its own rules
New report shows how industry managed to sweep harmful effects of pesticides and genetic engineering under the carpet. Eleven out of 12 EU pesticide and GMO risk assessment methods studied were developed or promoted by industry, a new report from Pesticide Action Network (PAN) shows. The report says that harmful effects observed in animal safety studies on pesticides can be swept under the carpet by using these methods. For example, tumours seen in test animals can be classified as irrelevant for humans; harmful pesticide residues in groundwater or 50% of non-target insects being killed off by pesticide spraying are deemed acceptable; safe levels can be assumed for carcinogens; standards for protection of aquatic life can be relaxed; and a GM crop that unexpectedly differs markedly in composition from the non-GM parent can be waved through the approvals process with little challenge.