Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Glyphosate: The Battle Royal in France

Politico has released a story about the battle over glyphosate in France that details the inner conflict inside the French government where two key ministers have been battling it out over whether or not the Roundup, the herbicide that contains glyphosate and which has been deemed carcinogenic by the UN's primary cancer researchers, should be used in France.

Royal and Foll
According to the news report, the minister of the environment, Segolene Royal (who is the mother of French President Hollande's four children) has prevailed, with Hollande voting on her side of the debate, to ban the sale of glyphosate in the future. According to Politico, Hollande believes the support from green voters is larger than the support from farmers.

Agriculture minister Stephene La Foll, a Socialist, has opposed the ban on behalf of French farmers.

France has also passed a permanent ban on neonics, the bee and bird killing toxin (widely use in the U.S. on vineyards) that will take effect in 2018.

In large measure, support for the ban shifted after a French television station aired a documentary showing the impact that vineyard chemicals were having on workers and children. (See the earlier post on this topic here.) Here is the documentary:

According to Politico's coverage, other European countries are passing stronger laws governing farmers' use of chemicals - Germany and the Czech Republic are passing new legislation to place stricter controls on these pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Meanwhile in California, Monsanto has held up EPA regulations to label Roundup as a carcinogen by filing a lawsuit against the EPA.

In April, San Francisco, ABC television station, Channel 7, covered the story of glyphosate in two news segments. Here's the first one:

The second can be seen here.

Best bits: the interviews in each segment with Dr. Michael Antoniou from University College in London.

What would happen in the U.S. if 60 Minutes took up the subject?

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