Glyphosate authorised - but only for 5 years

The EU have finally voted to renew the licence for glyphosate. But only for 5 years. It has taken 18 months of battling between the agrichemical industry, who wanted a full 15 years licence renewal, and concerned individuals, NGOs and environmental organisations who wanted the substance banned.

Recent votes in the EU parliament had originally failed to meet the necessary majority to grant the licence renewal. But at the eleventh hour, Germany switched from abstaining to supporting the vote. German citizens are reacting angrily. Greenpeace spokesperson, Franziska Achterberg, said, “The people who are supposed to protect us from dangerous pesticides have failed to do their jobs and betrayed the trust Europeans place in them. The European Commission and most governments have chosen to ignore the warnings of independent scientists, the demands of the European Parliament and the petition signed by more than one million people calling for a glyphosate ban.”

Over three thousand Garden Organic members signed the petition to have the chemical banned - and the demand to have the chemical regulatory process reviewed. Independent research from the WHO (World Health Organisation) has shown that glyphosate, when used in formulations such as Roundup, can be highly toxic, probably causing cancer. It also damages wildlife, soil and aquatic life.

"Today's vote is a sad endorsement of the way growers and local councils are dependent on toxic chemicals," says James Campbell, Garden Organic Chief Executive. "However, it is a considerable achievement that the expected 15 years licence renewal has been whittled down to just five. I hope that implicit in this decision is the planned phase out of this and other toxic chemicals. Garden Organic will continue to campaign for realistic alternatives - so that our parks, playgrounds, rivers and fields are clean, safe environments."

To know more about glyphosate and how to grow without it, see here.

Monday, 27 November 2017