Dutch parliament members question WUR’s collaboration with pesticide manufacturers

In response to an article published on news platform Follow the Money, members of parliament De Groot en Paternotte (D66) have filed questions regarding the independence and reliability of WUR’s research. They have officially asked for a response of both the Dutch ministers of agriculture and education.

In the article on Follow the Money “Belangenverstrengeling zaait twijfels over giftig zaad” is described how WUR’s research on toxicity of pesticides is sponsored by big agrotech companies such as Bayer.

This lead members of parliament De Groot en Paternotte (D66) to ask for an official response of the government to a list of 10 questions on the conflicts of interest that surround WUR’s research.

Amongst the questions that the ministers of education and agriculture have to answer:

  • Is it true that research on the effects of chemicals on nature and especially bees is sponsored for 50% by businesses? And how do you judge the mix of private and public money in these kinds of research?
  • In which way is WUR financed? And which financial ties did WUR have with pesticide manufacturers?
  • Do you think that, research needed for market authorization on pesticides sponsored by chemical companies is independent?

These and more questions will need to be answered by the ministers within three weeks, however, Dutch minister of Agriculture has already stated that it might take a little bit longer!