EU prepares to brush aside glyphosate herbicide safety concerns

Publication - March 3, 2016
On 8 March, a meeting of EU government experts in Brussels is expected to support the European Commission’s proposal to grant a new 15-year lease to glyphosate, the world’s most used weedkiller, despite World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer warnings.

EU governments will only restrict its use in pesticide products that also contain a chemical called polyethoxylated (POE)-tallowamine. These products are already banned in Germany, one of Europe’s largest pesticides markets. European decision-makers are also expected to endorse the Commission’s request that Monsanto and other pesticide companies produce scientific evidence, by 1 August 2016, proving that glyphosate does not interfere with the human hormone system. However, the EU licence for glyphosate is expected to be renewed ahead of this deadline.

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said:“EU governments seem more concerned about maintaining today’s destructive agricultural practices than protecting the health of people and the environment. For a long time, glyphosate was thought to be safe. Now more and more scientific evidence tells us that it's a serious threat to our health and the environment. Ignoring this evidence for another 15 years will cost us dearly. Europe needs an exit strategy from chemical pesticides and a move towards ecological farming”.

BR glyphosate approval - FINAL 03032016