Commission intervenes to postpone glyphosate relicensing decision… AGAIN!
Date: 6 June 2016
Today was the EU’s third attempt to reach a decision about whether or not to relicense glyphosate for use in Europe. But, as with the previous two attempts to reach a decision on glyphosate’s European licence, the Expert Committee has yet again been unable to come to a decision. This was despite the fact that the original proposal to grant a 15 year relicense had been reduced to a 12-18 month temporary relicense.
This is a somewhat infuriating outcome for the millions of European citizens and numerous member states who have been demanding the EU practice the ‘precautionary principle’ and not relicence a chemical that the WHO found to be ‘probably carcinogenic’. Even the European Parliament called for severe restrictions to be placed on glyphosates use.
The next steps of the process are for the decision to go to an appeals committee, chaired by the commission but to include experts from member states, who will vote on the issue at the end of June.
Aisha Dodwell, a food campaigner with Global Justice now commented:
“Despite millions of people across Europe demanding an outright ban, and the European Parliament calling for severe restrictions, the commission continues to push through its proposal to renew glyphosate’s license. In the face of this public revolt over glyphosate, the commission has now decided to take the decision to an appeals panel, meaning once again we will have been left waiting to hear if Europe’s public will continue to be exposed to toxic chemicals.
“It’s not surprising that people in the UK are feeling such hostility towards the workings of the EU. What we’ve seen today is a pretty undemocratic and un-transparent decision making process laid bare.
“The commission needs to ensure the safety of people across the continent, rather than pander to the corporate interests of agribusiness companies like Monsanto who make enormous profits from products containing glyphosate.”
In early May pressure group Global Justice Now, which has a long-standing campaign against the corporate control of food systems, sent over 800 ‘Monsanto Exposed’ brandalism packs to activists across the country. The packs contained labels that have been designed using the distinctive branding of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. The spoof labels warn that the product is classified as ‘probably causing cancer’ and that Monsanto’s corporate control of agriculture ‘degrades farmers’ power’. Activist groups are being encouraged to wrap the labels around bottles of Roundup in garden centres across the country and share images on social media with the hashtag #MonsantoExposed.