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Belgium: Brussels government takes Commission to EU Court over glyphosate

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The EU-Parliment voted for a renewal for glyphosate for fiive years end of the year 2017.

The EU-Parliment voted for a renewal for glyphosate for five years end of the year 2017. Photo © Pixabay

The government of the Brussels region has decided to file a complaint against the European Commission with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its decision to re-authorise the pesticide glyphosate in Europe. Belgium was among the nine member states that voted against the renewal of the controversial chemical substance.

According to Belgian media, the Brussels government submitted the complaint on 8 March, claiming there was a breach of the precautionary principle. As the complaint does not come from the Federal Government of Belgium it is unclear if the ECJ will accept the complaint. Brussels government has banned the use of glyphosate on its territory in line with the region’s “zero pesticides” policy in November 2017.

Brussels official said the scientific assessments on which the renewal was based have given too little weight to university studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Many of these approved the harmful effect of glyphosate and the probable carcinogenic risk to humasn ( Agency of cancer research of WHO). According to media the official of the Brussels government explained this is "diametrically opposed to the precautionary principle,” if it is said  “as long as the causal link between glyphosate and harmful effects is not 100% proven, it cannot be banned".

Brussels believes that the renewal decision is not accompanied by adequate mitigation or risk reduction measures and a phase-out strategy.


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