Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Glyphosate Chronicles, Continued: EU Votes to Extend Herbicide's Use for 18 Months

This week, backed against a wall, the EU moved to allow sales of glyphosate (Roundup) - a decision that the largest European countries (including Italy, Germany and France) did not want to make, due to popular sentiment against the toxic herbicide. (See this recent coverage from The Guardian or Politico for more details).

In the absence of a majority vote, the EU's Health and Safety Commission used its authority to extend the world's most widely used herbicide for 18 months. Monsanto had been seeking a 15 year renewal.

If you haven't been following this story, here's a bit of background:

In the scientific community, the UN's top experts on carcinogens weighed in in 2015 with a report saying the herbicide was a probable carcinogen. In 2016, another UN body, which conducted a narrower review of glyphosate, based on dietary factors alone, concluded that the herbicide was not carcinogenic. However, popular sentiment, as reported in a recent poll, shows that the majority of Europeans are for banning the substance.

Euronews interviewed one of the UN's IARC experts,  Kurt Straif, in January on the herbicide's toxicity and the IARC's research that led the UN body to label it a probable carcinogenic.

According to Straif, the 2016 study was based on far less evidence than the 2015 IARC report, and the 2016 report was not conducted by the UN's top experts on carcinogens.

You can see a longer video from Euronews coverage of glyphosate, featuring interviews with a dairy goat farmer and a dog breeder on glyphosate leading to animal cancers and diseases on their properties, due to neighbors' spraying.

Back in May, Millions Against Monsanto marches all over Europe took place. Here's Euronews' coverage:


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