Controversial weedkiller retains EU in a tangle (Update)


With a deadline simply weeks away, the European Union failed Thursday to interrupt a hardening stalemate on whether or not to resume the licence for the widely-used weedkiller glyphosate, which critics concern causes most cancers.

The European Commission stated it fell in need of the bulk wanted to resume the license for 5 years when it expires December 15, as solely half of the 28 member states voted for its proposal.

“Given that a qualified majority could not be reached … the result of the vote is ‘no opinion,'” stated the fee, the EU’s govt and regulatory arm.

The newest outcome was hailed by environmental campaigners, together with those that rallied exterior EU headquarters to mock US agro-food big Monsanto, the maker of the best-selling glyphosate product Roundup.

“Today we have seen that the seventh attempt of the European Commission to renew Glyphosate has failed again,” stated Luis Morago, Avaaz marketing campaign director.

“Monsanto wanted 15 more years and they can’t even get five.”

The European Commission, which had initially advisable approving the herbicide’s use for one more decade, stated it’ll now submit its proposal to an appeals committee by the top of November.

‘Overwhelming strain’

The weedkiller impbade within the EU has dragged on since June 2016, when its earlier 15-year licence expired, and an 18-month extension was granted.

Thursday’s vote didn’t cross when consultants from 9 international locations, together with France, Belgium and Italy opposed renewal and consultants from one other 5 international locations abstained.

Fourteen states voted for the proposal, together with Denmark, Britain and the Netherlands, the fee stated.

France’s surroundings minister Nicola Hulot, a celeb inexperienced activist, stated he was “proud” that France “stood firm” towards a five-year renewal because it seeks to section out the herbicide and scrap it in three years.

The European Parliament, the EU’s solely elected physique, final month stated glyphosate needs to be renewed solely till 2022 and banned thereafter.

However, confronted with rising uproar over the alleged risks of glyphosate use, EU states balked final month at a renewal and the fee then proposed lowering the timeframe from ten years to 5 years.

Environmental campaigners Greenpeace and different critics are calling for an outright ban in Europe for glyphosate.

Last month they handed the EU a petition signed by greater than 1.three million folks backing such a transfer.

“Overwhelming public pressure is paying off, with a clear lack of political support to extend the licence for glyphosate,” stated Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe.

Despite the outcome, Greenpeace expressed concern that the fee will undertake its personal proposal with out the backing of European governments, which it has the ability to do.

“The EU needs to ban it now, not in three, five or ten more years,” Greenpeace EU meals coverage director Franziska Achterberg stated.

‘Politics wins, science loses’

Activists level to a 2015 research by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer that concluded it was “probably carcinogenic”.

But the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency each say glyphosate is unlikely to trigger most cancers in people, in step with a 2016 evaluate carried out by WHO consultants and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Monsanto insists glyphosate meets the requirements required to resume its European licence.

The European Crop Protection Association’s spokesman Graeme Taylor stated the pesticide trade discovered it “disappointing there is still no clear decision”.

“Where politics wins, science loses,” he added.

However, the science itself is beneath debate.

Members of the European Parliament final month known as for the institution of a panel to probe claims that Monsanto unduly influenced badysis into its weedkiller’s security.

Europe’s predominant farmers union, the Copa-Cogeca, stated earlier than the vote there isn’t a different however to resume the licence if the continent needs to take care of yields.

Explore additional:
France to oppose EU’s 5-year renewal for weedkiller glyphosate

© 2017 AFP

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