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08.03.2016

Toxic substances

Glyphosate EU approval decision postponed as opposition mounts

A decision on whether or not to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe was today postponed, following disagreement among representatives of EU governments. The European Commission had recommended that EU governments reapprove the controversial substance glyphosate, which is used as a herbicide among other applications, for use in the EU for a further 15 years, however growing opposition from EU governments to approving the substance led to the decision being postponed. Commenting after the meeting of the Council group, Green agriculture and public health spokesperson Martin Häusling said:

"The growing opposition among EU governments to reapproving glyphosate for use in the EU is encouraging. Given the serious health and environmental concerns and conflicting scientific advice regarding glyphosate, as well as the public opposition, it is welcome that EU governments are belatedly waking up to the problem. We hope this postponement will convince more EU governments to join in opposing the approval of this controversial substance.

"It is scandalous that the EU Commission simply ignored the considerable scientific concern expressed about the risks of glyphosate and instead proposed to continue to allow its use for 15 more years. The finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans by the WHO should be leading to a global moratorium on its use. While the European Food Safety Authority gave a positive assessment of glyphosate, this opinion itself has been subject to criticism in the scientific community. Given the serious health concerns and conflicting scientific advice, the Commission should be respecting its duty to apply the precautionary principle and not approving of this highly controversial substance. As long as the manufacturers fail to demonstrate an absence of harm, glyphosate should not be approved for use in the EU.

"EU governments must heed these concerns and reject the Commission's proposal. Approving glyphosate for use until 2031 would be deeply irresponsible in the context of the major concerns about its health and environmental impact."

The Greens/EFA group has been running a campaign against the approval of glyphosate: http://www.greens-efa.eu/seven-reasons-to-ban-glyphosate-15234.html

More information:

Richard More O'Ferrall

Press and Media Advisor (English language and Nordic press, social media)
Tel. Brussels +32-2-2841669
Fax Brussels +32-2-2844944
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