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EU Parliament opposes re-approval of glyphosate for most uses

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The European Parliament has responded to the health concerns of millions by calling on the Commission to severely restrict permitted uses of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, including an effective ban on pre-harvest dessication of crops and vote for a limited approval on glyphosat of seven years instead of 15 years as the Commission suggested.

The Greens-EFA report on their website that the European Parliament 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. 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."

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.

Compromise is a success for glyphosate critical organisations and concerned consumers

"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", Staes said.

However the vote of the MEPs can be seen as a huge success for consumers, the organic movement and environmental organisations because the European Parliament adopted this resolution strongly opposing the Commission's proposal to reapprove glyphosate for use in Europe for 15 years. Also the resolution opposes approval of glyphosate for most uses, and takes aim at the excessive length of the approval proposed by the Commission, which must now address these concerns.

The Parliament's vote precedes a decision by EU government representatives on whether or not to support the Commission proposal to approve glyphosate for use in the EU. This may take place at the next EU pesticides committee meeting on 18-19 May. While the 374 to 225 vote is non-binding on the Commission and EU governments, it will nonetheless carry strong moral weight since it comes from the EU's only elected body directly representing EU citizens and will force a discussion of the issues raised, explains The Ecologist

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:

A briefing on 7 of the reasons to ban glyphosate.


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