POLL: Should the EU’s extension of the Glyphosate license be stopped?

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As expected, the European Commission has extended the license for  for 18 months. Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis announced the last-minute re-licensing on June 28 despite failing three times in a row to secure a majority decision from the European Union’s member states.

The EU’s current approval of glyphosate had been set to expire on Thursday but due to the member state gridlock, the EU’s executive body had the final say on whether or not the controversial weedkiller remained on Europe’s shelves.

Had glyphosate’s license been allowed to expire, manufacturers would have been given six months to phase out products containing the chemical, such as Monsanto’s and other .

“The commission will follow our legal obligation. We know very well that we have a deadline of June 30. We will adopt an extension for glyphosate of 18 months,” Andriukaitis said at a news conference.

Europe’s opinion of the widely used has been sharply divided ever since March 2015 when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. To complicate matters, other regulatory agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority, declared glyphosate as safe in November.

Andriukaitis noted that the 18-month extension will allow the European Chemicals Agency to further assess the product’s safety.

The European Commission failed to get member state support, but extended #glyphosate’s licence by 18 months anyway.

However, the fact that the commission originally proposed to extend glyphosate for another 15 years but has now whittled it down to a temporary approval highlights the chemical’s uncertain fate on the continent.

“This decision by the commission to extend the approval of glyphosate in spite of last week’s vote shows a disdain for the opposition by the public and EU governments to this controversial toxic herbicide,” Green Party MEP Bart Staes said.

“As perhaps the first EU decision after the UK referendum, it shows the commission is failing to learn the clear lesson that the EU needs to finally start listening to its citizens again.

This temporary extension must be the beginning of the end for glyphosate; we would now urge EU governments and regions to exercise their rights to impose significant restrictions on its use, so we can begin the process of phasing-out glyphosate.”

EU Commissioner @V_Andriukaitis approves #glyphosate extension despite no EU gov majority http://bit.ly/294eXQ9 🌽☠

“There are clear concerns about the health risks with glyphosate, both as regards it being a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor,” Staes continued. “Moreover, glyphosate’s devastating impact on biodiversity should have already led to its ban.

The process of phasing-out glyphosate and other toxic herbicides and from agriculture must begin now, and this means reorienting the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy towards a more sustainable agricultural model and a Common Food Policy.”

The Green Party noted that under the legislation, EU member states are entitled to impose restrictions on glyphosate, with France and additional municipal authorities already saying they will do so.

JUST IN: France to Ban #Glyphosate Weedkillers Due to Health Risks http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/08/france-bans-glyphosate-tallow-amine/ … @nongmoreport @EWG

Environmental group Friends of the Earth has also objected to the extension.

“Glyphosate has been given a stay of execution in Europe, but it remains the world’s most over-used herbicide. Farmers have been told that this chemical is safe—yet there is mounting evidence of the harmful impacts on our health and environment,” farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow stated.

“Despite the Brexit vote, the Government must now see that glyphosate’s days are numbered and produce a phase-out plan for this and other damaging chemicals. Farmers urgently need independent advice and support on other ways of tackling persistent weeds that do not harm our water, soils and wild species.”

JUST IN: France to Ban #Glyphosate Weedkillers Due to Health Risks http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/08/france-bans-glyphosate-tallow-amine/ … @nongmoreport @EWG

“Longer term, the Government’s Brexit plans for farming must prioritise a food and farming strategy that builds a diverse, resilient system—supporting flourishing wildlife, sustainable healthy diets and thriving farmers’ livelihoods,” Oxborrow said. “And local authorities should follow the lead of Hammersmith and Fulham council and stop using Roundup and other weedkillers containing glyphosate in parks, gardens and schools.”

Meanwhile, glyphosate manufacturers and the farm lobby celebrated the news.

Here’s what #farmer Tom Bradshaw has to say about #WithorWithout use of pesticides. @cropprotection

Crop Protection Association CEO Nick von Westenholz said he was disappointed that EU member states “forced the commission into this position by ignoring the science and advice of expert regulators.”

“The indecision of Member States and the need for an extension demonstrates how politicized this process has become,” he said. “Nevertheless, it will be a relief to farmers that they will be able to continue to use this crucial tool, at least in the short-term.”

He added that the standard 15 year renewal should have been granted and urges the member states “to take the sensible, science led decision to re-licence this safe, efficient and effective product for the full 15 year period once the 18 month extension has expired.”

This article was first published by EcoWatch.com on 29 Jun 2016.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the EU’s extension of the Glyphosate license should be stopped? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

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Delbert Smith

Do you realise the Americas were fine without bees? Yes honey bees are old world insects. did not exist in the NEw World until brought here.

Delbert Smith

I have done my homework, it is you who are believing lies. There is a deeper idiocracy going on to dumb the public down. You are blinded by some liberal facts that are lies upon lies. Do you realise without these chemicals 70% of the world is goign to starve to death. But your high and might ways ignore that.

Iain Gibson

You've missed something rather fundamental, Delbert Smith. Herbicides like glyphosate kill wild flowers (calling them 'weeds' is inappropriate) which produce pollen and nectar for insects and seeds for birds and small mammals. Without these vital sources of nutrition, insect and seed feeders cannot reproduce. We have lost hundreds of millions of wild birds throughout Europe alone thanks to the excessive use of glyphosate, not to mention all the butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinating insects. It has literally impoverished our countryside of biodiversity. P.S. For your education, a herbicide is classified as a form of pesticide, so your pedantic argument… Read more »

Marianne Mawayani Liekens

Stop murders***do it by yourself***

Linda French

Once again you make comments with no support, you clearly are not a wildlife protector, or care about the environment, by this comments and all your other comments on this site. Show me where it says it does not harm birds, bees, because if you did your homework you would know that this has been taken off the market in many countries. Do you homework!! Do not be so gullible.

Jean O'Donovan

l find it totally amazing that in this day and age we still allow the fat cats who produce these pesticides to carry on making millions at the cost of our planet our wildlife and us the human race!!! Surely the facts speak for themselves if something kills whether it's a weed or not it will harm any living thing. It is time to stand up to these mis guided idiots who feel so important to have a voice at the cost of our planet!!!

Delbert Smith

Europe’s opinion of the widely used pesticide. It is a herbicide. WEEDS!!

This is not a pesticide. It is for weed control. yes thats what it does is kill weeds. It does not kill birds and bees.

There no need to tell lies,

Linda French

Shameful – I know it is not a easy decision, however there are choices and this is not it. Farmers can use other products, yes it will cost more – but that is the future. The future can be less crops, highers prices or not birds, bees etc. Let us not forget that if you have NO BEES you have no pollination NO CROPS, than the future will be dismal…you have to stop it now..This not only effect crops but also our waterways, our oceans, riveers and the wildlife that live in it and around it!! Why are you ignoring… Read more »