The EU Parliament voted on Tuesday [24 October] to ban glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide on the planet.
In a non-binding resolution, 244 MEPs out of 335 voted for a complete ban on the Monsanto product by 2022 and to refuse an extension of its 10-year license, which had been under consideration since May 2016.
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) October 24, 2017
Today, [Wednesday 25th October] the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed was supposed to vote on the European Commission’s proposal for a ten-year extension for glyphosate, but the vote has failed to go ahead. MEPs hope they will influence member states to oppose the ten-year renewal being proposed by the European Commission, but have no power to veto the renewal.
— Claude Turmes (@ClaudeTurmes) October 25, 2017
Glyphosate was found by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans” in a 2015 report.
This was countered later that year by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) finding a carcinogenic hazard to be “unlikely” among humans. The WHO then changed its original position, supporting the EFSA’s conclusion.
The Parliament’s proposal is a “breath of fresh air” according to Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg, although she said that that the phase-out period is “longer than technically needed”.
She added that it is time for the Commission and national governments to listen to the people of Europe who support a glyphosate ban, citing a petition in July signed by 1.3 million people across member states.
The resolution is also critical of the EFSA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) due to an alleged blurring of industry lines in political and scientific spheres.
According to a report in EU Food Policy, one MEP at the meeting “went further by accusing them of conniving with companies”.
Readers can find out more about these allegations in the Unapologists’ analysis on glyphosate.
The parliament’s decision has not come without public opposition, with the WHO’s original paper coming under fire for omitting contradictory information.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 25, 2017