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Glyphosate: no majority for a license-renewal
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Yesterday, the EU expert committee held a meeting in Brussels in order to vote on the five-year re-authorization of the herbicide glyphosate within the EU. Even after yesterday’s referendum within the lasting debate about the renewal of the pesticide’s approval, there hasn’t been a qualified majority. The committee voted neither for nor against the European Commission’s five-years-proposal.
Five member states abstained from voting
Of a total of 28 EU member states, 14 countries, including the Netherlands, voted for the commission’s proposal. Nine member states such as France and Austria, came out against the five-year extension of the pesticide’s usage and five countries abstained from their vote. Until now, Germany didn’t cast a vote, too. This is related to the disagreement among the former federal government shared by the conservatives and the labour party as well as to the so-called Jamaica-coalition (a coalition established by the conservatives, the green and the liberal party) potentially coming about. Both, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens are against a re-authorization of glyphosate, as the total herbicide is under suspicion of being carcinogenic as well as a threat to the environment.
EU-Commission plans to convene a mediation committee
On the 15th December 2017, the license for using glyphosate within the EU will expire. Until then, the European Commission wants to get to a clear voting result. Thus, the EU-authority is now planning to convene a mediation committee that shall meet as recently as the 22nd November 2017. If, even then, there will be no qualified majority, then the commission could decide about the re-authorization solitarily. Until now, the EU-institution tried to find necessary support within all EU-countries.
Martin Häusling, speaker for agricultural policy of the Greens and member of the European Parliament’s environmental committee, commented on yesterday’s referendum as follows: “The European Commission finally has to accept that it’s about time to sound glyphosate’s death knell. Thereby, the commission can rely on the European Parliament’s suggestions – which has presented a realistic and fair proposal about how the transition to a glyphosate-free agriculture could succeed. Not in any case should the commission cave in to Monsanto, because of being afraid of having to pay fines to the chemistry giant for a non-renewal. Glyphosate simply is unnecessary and can be replaced by good agricultural practice. The European Commission has to follow the predominant vote of the civilian population and to withdraw the herbicide from sale.”
For further information about the possible re-authorization of glyphosate please also read our following articles: