Glyphosate: Austria’s exit decision gives hope
by Horst Fiedler (comments: 0)
The decision of the Austrian parliament to prohibit glyphosate has once again rekindled the debate about the controversial weedkiller The German government plans to present an exit plan in September.
The legendary single-handed actions of former minister for agriculture Christian Schmidt (CSU) during a vote in Brussels in 2017 opened the way for another five years of legal glyphosate use in the EU. The grand coalition of the German government therefore resolved to phase out the use of the potentially carcinogenic herbicide gradually by 2023. Following a request from the Green Party a few days ago, the Chancellor announced that they would present an exit plan in September.
Ban of glyphosate not EU-law-conform?
The advance of Austria to immediately ban the toxin from their agriculture is much to the displeasure of Bayer (and other chemical groups that are producing the now patent-free substance) and puts Germany under a lot of pressure. Now, glyphosate-supporters are clinging to EU law and suggest that the Austrian decision is unlawful. This view is accommodated by a study on which the Austrian kurier reports. In their article, they report the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety’s findings that based on the available data on glyphosate-based herbicides no increased risk in relation to other certified herbicides can be derived.
There are currently more than 13.000 lawsuits against US-company Monsanto, the company that first introduced glyphosate, which was acquired by the German pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer. A first verdict ordered compensation payments of USD 80 million to a man with cancer; in a second case, compensation of USD 50 million is expected.
First, the Austrian’s lawsuit against the proposed toll by the CSU showed that the Bavarians were on the wrong track. Now their ban of glyphosate demonstrates that the CSU has also gone wrong with their one-man policy by Schmidt. While this time, jurisdiction could be on the Bavarian’s side, glyphosate is once again prominent. And who would doubt that a glyphosate-exit has better chances now than it had a few days ago? Thanks, Austria!
The herbal specialist Sonnentor has initiated an association for the promotion of an Austrian environment suitable for grandchildren. This association is committed to agriculture free from pesticides and wants to support organic farmers whose crops have been contaminated by pesticide drift.
The Vinschgau producers of fruit and vegetables have presented a new project for the traceability of their products: "BioGraphy". Read what it is all about.
The Austrians have the fourth highest proportion of organic food in the whole of Europe. This was announced by Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) - which provided further organic figures.