Greens/EFA urges Member States to ban glyphosate
Today, the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) was unable to reach the qualified majority needed to approve the 10 year renewal of the use of glyphosate proposed by the Commission. The Greens/EFA Group has long advocated for a complete ban of the use of glyphosate. The Greens/EFA Group urges the Member States that opposed the Commission proposal to stay the course and vote for a complete ban of glyphosate.
Tilly Metz MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, comments:
“Today’s vote is a victory for the movement to ban the use of glyphosate, but the fight continues. Glyphosate is not safe to use, it causes harm to the environment and to people's health and needs to be banned. Six years ago, we were very close to banning glyphosate in Europe, with millions of European citizens calling for it. Over the last few years, independent scientific studies have continued to pile up, which all show the dangers this toxic substance poses to nature and human health. The time has come to listen to science!”
Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Environment Committee, comments:
“Six years ago, the EU renewed the use of glyphosate for five years with the condition that it would be phased out during this period. Last year it was granted a temporary one year extension. It is irresponsible to again renew the authorisation of the use of glyphosate. This would give the big agri a blank check to earn billions by selling a pesticide for which there are still big gaps in knowledge about the effects on our health, and at the same time poses large risks for European biodiversity.”
Following today’s vote, the Commission is expected to come back with a new proposal at the end of October/beginning of November for prolonging the use of glyphosate.
Croatia, Austria and Luxembourg did not support the COM proposal of a 10 year prolongation. Germany, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Malta abstained.
In the previous renewal decision in 2018, glyphosate was renewed for only 5 years due to massive citizen concern and doubts about its safety. The authorisation should have ended at the end of 2022, but an extension was granted to gather evidence of ecotoxicological impacts, due to the increasing amounts of scientific literature showing negative impacts on species in different parts of the wider ecosystem.
This week, the first case in France of a scientifically established link between the use of glyphosate during pregnancy and the birth defects of the child was made public.
Glyphosate is not needed for productive farming, nor for weed control. On the contrary, by contributing to ecosystem collapse, decreasing food for pollinators, and impacting the soil biome, the use of glyphosate puts our long-term food security at risk and should therefore be banned.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in broad-spectrum herbicides like Roundup, produced by Bayer-Monsanto; it is a pesticide not only used in farming, but also in urban areas.