Pressure mounts for European glyphosate ban

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Safety concerns over glyphosate prompt calls for ban
Safety concerns over glyphosate prompt calls for ban

Related tags European union Glyphosate

Calls to ban glyphosate are gaining steam in Europe ahead of a vote on whether to renew the controversial weed killer’s licence this week.

European Union member states are expected to vote on the renewal of the licence for glyphosate, which expires on 15 December, on Wednesday (23 October).

The European Commission has proposed granting EU approval for the chemical for another ten years. This recommendation was based on the evaluation of the European Food Safety Authority, which found the chemical to be safe for human consumption. However, findings from the World Health Organization, have linked glyphosate to possible cancer risks.

Cancer link

In a recent report, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) classed glyphosate as a Group 2a carcinogen, a substance that probably causes cancer in people.

This assessment was based on the view that there was “sufficient evidence​” glyphosate causes cancer in animals and “limited evidence​” it can do so in humans.

The classification, which prompted litigation in the US against supplier Monsanto, has resulted in calls for the chemical to be banned from use in European agriculture.

Four countries – France, Italy, Austria and Luxembourg – have already said they will vote against the Commission’s proposal to approve the license. Others, including Germany, are expected to abstain from the vote.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament is expected to pass a resolution demanding glyphosate be phased out by 2020. Calling on Member States not to approve the agricultural use of the chemical, the resolution suggests the EC’s proposed renewal draft fails to ensure “a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment” and fails to apply the precautionary principle.

In an open letter published in Le Monde today, 54 MPs from President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! party voiced further support for a ban. “Banning glyphosate, while properly supporting farmers in a transition, on a short and realistic schedule, is a good compromise,”​ they wrote.

Consumer backlash

The issue has also gained traction with consumers. Representatives from the Stop Glyphosate European Citizens’ Initiative met Vytenis Andriukaitis today to present the European commissioner for health and food safety with a petition signed by over one million European citizens.

The petition calls for a ban on glyphosate, an overall reduction in pesticide use, and more transparency and independence in assessments of the risks posed by pesticides

Jorgo Riss, Greenpeace EU director, said: “The glyphosate debacle has shown that the Commission continues to put the short-term interests of chemical companies before people’s health and the environment. Its failure to act on the concerns voiced by independent scientists, parliamentarians and over a million Europeans is a disgrace.

“Scientific research and the experience of thousands of organic farmers show that pesticides and glyphosate are not necessary. To help restore faith in the EU, the Commission must set a path to phase out dangerous pesticides and ensure healthy food and environmentally friendly farming.”

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As a minimum glyphosate should be banned to be used before harvesting

Posted by Andrius,

As a minimum glyphosate should be banned to be used before harvesting, which is absolute insanity.

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Dangerous Stuff

Posted by Buckey Boynton,

Glyphosate is miss-represented by our EPA. It sholuld be banned entirely. Roger Wagner is another Monsanto paid representative posing as a concerned individual.

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Posted by Amal Wimalasena,

Carcinogenicity of glyphosate formulations has become almost a red-herring.

Glyphosate is much more dangerous as a chelator and a hormone hacker.

Many hormone hackers have been banned already. Why is glyphosate being given special protection?

The US law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, after giving time for Monsanto to protest, published Monsanto's research papers and correspondence released by US Courts and the EPA.

These are the papers that have hoisted Monsanto with their own petard. There is ample proof of carcinogencity, chelation dangers and hormone system disruption dangers - from Monsanto's own papers and which knowledge has been suppressed to enable sales without hindrance. These are criminal acts against the public.

Members of the European Parliament are visiting and in close touch with the US law firm and Justice Cchabria to keep abreast of information and developments. All point to a rejection of the move to extend the use of glyphosate in the EU. If that does not happen, then the EU should be faulted for mass attempted homicide.

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