The European Parliament today adopted a resolution setting out its position on a proposal by the EU Commission to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe. The resolution flagged concerns with the Commission's proposal, notably calling for significantly restricting the uses for which glyphosate could be approved (1). The vote took place ahead of a decision by EU government representatives on whether or not to support the Commission proposal to approve glyphosate for use in the EU for a further 15 years. After the vote, Green food safety and public health spokesperson Bart Staes said:
"The European Parliament has today highlighted serious concerns with the proposal to re-approve glyphosate for use in Europe and the Commission and EU governments must take note. We would have preferred if MEPs had followed the recommendation of the EP's environment committee in clearly calling for an outright rejection of the re-approval of glyphosate. However, this resolution opposes approval of glyphosate for most of its uses, and takes aim at the excessive length of the approval proposed by the Commission. This is a shot across the bow of the Commission and it must now work with EU governments to address these concerns, rather than pushing ahead with its proposed reapproval.
"There is growing opposition among EU governments to reapproving glyphosate for use in the EU and we hope today's vote, combined with major public opposition, will convince more governments to change their minds on glyphosate. Given the serious health and environmental concerns and conflicting scientific advice regarding glyphosate, it is scandalous that the EU Commission proposed to continue to allow its use for 15 more years, without any restrictions on its use. With the WHO assessment having concluded the substance is probably carcinogenic. EU governments must heed these concerns and reject the Commission's proposal."
(1) The resolution called for no approval of glyphosate for non-professional uses; no approval of glyphosate in or close to public parks/playgrounds/gardens; no approval of glyphosate where integrated pest management systems are sufficient for necessary weed control; and no approval of glyphosate for purposes of pre-harvest desiccation.
More information on the decision to re-approve glyphosate, as well as an initiative by the Greens/EFA group to test for glyphosate traces in the urine of MEPs can be found at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/glyphosate-15414.html
A briefing on 7 of the reasons to ban glyphosate can be found at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/seven-reasons-to-ban-glyphosate-15234.html