Bulgarian, Professor Vladko Panayotov MEP (ALDE), has a longstanding interest in the environment and, being more practical than some deputies, has also a number of inventions and patents to his credit. Recently, he has taken an interest in the use of cyanide in gold mining, where he has been calling for a ban on its use. With the current technology, gold mining needs cyanide to extract the metal, but there are obvious concerns about using this notorious poison. On 7 April the issue was raised in the Environment Committee, when Janos Ader asked Commissioner Pitochnik about support for a ban. This was supported by Panayotov. The Bulgarian member has previously tabled a question, protesting about a cyanide using facility being built in his nation.
Panayotov may wish to declare an interest. He has devised a process for extracting metals without using cyanide and this is in the process of being patented. Should Parliament vote for the ban on 5 May, one deputy could become a very rich man, having prohibited the competition and opened up a highly lucrative market for himself. If, of course, his process actually works.