The big pesticide companies are once again being accused of manipulating science to get what they want; this time by withholding evidence of pesticide toxicity from European Union (EU) regulators in order to get their pesticides approved. The tactic is not only unethical but is against the law. And finally, researchers are starting to shine a light on this scandal.
New research from Swedish researchers, chemist Axel Mie and toxicologist Christina Ruden, published in the journal Environmental Health reveals that several pesticide manufacturers withheld unfavorable results of toxicity tests for the developing brain from European authorities. The manufacturers–including Bayer, Syngenta, and Nissan Chemical–had conducted developmental neurotoxicity tests to win regulatory approval for their products and submitted them to the US EPA but not to the European Food Safety Authority.
The Swedish researchers discovered that 9 out of 35 developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) studies were withheld from EU regulators despite clear legal requirements to disclose them. In fact, the EU authorities did not even hear about these tests until years later. As a result, the negative studies were not considered by EU regulators during their first authorization of the nine pesticides: abamectin, ethoprophos, buprofezin, fenamidone, fenamiphos, glyphosate-trimesium, pymetrozine, pyridaben, and fluazinam. The pesticides were used on tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, and eggplants.