Members of the European Parliament want a ban on garden weedkiller
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The existing license for glyphosate expires in June and the European Commission is set to decide whether to approve its use for another 15 years, according to the Daily Mail. MEPs want the herbicide glyphosate outlawed after the World Health Organisation last year said it was 'probably carcinogenic’. However, scientific opinion on the substance is divided, with the European Food Safety Authority insisting it is unlikely to cause tumors. Monsanto, which manufacturers Roundup, added there was “no scientific reason why glyphosate should not continue to be available for gardeners”.
However the organic food charity The Soil Association backed the vote by MEPs and urged gardeners to weed by hand instead. The group, which has been campaigning against glyphosate, also suggested gardeners use livestock, such as pigs, chicken, geese or weeding techniques using flames or hot water. The Soil Association also proposed covering the ground with a mulch or designing gardens in a way that “limit areas where weeds can become a problem”.
A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We recognize the importance of effective pesticides to farmers and we remain entirely committed to making them available where the regulators are satisfied and scientific evidence shows they do not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. The European Food Safety Authority did not find that glyphosate posed a risk to human health and UK experts agree. We now await the decision by the European Commission on the renewal of its approval.”
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