Recently the European parliament called for an outright ban on the use of cyanide in gold processing (see But the European Commission has rejected the demand, claiming that sufficient safeguards are in place to avoid any disaster. This response is clearly motivated by industry fears of closure, and officially excused as protecting jobs. It is all the more indefensible in light of the fact that, just four months ago, the world’s second biggest gold miner was found guilty of causing a massive cyanide spill in Ghana.