The decision to renew glyphosate use in Europe was postponed for the second time on Thursday. Representatives of EU governments did not support the European Commission’s proposal (which included almost no restrictions) to renew the widely used herbicide for nine more years.
The Commission did not call for a vote, after realizing it lacked majority support. The proposal garnered support from 19 member states, while two, including France and Italy, opposed the measure; seven (including Germany) would have abstained, according to Sustainable Pulse.
If an agreement is not reached by the end of June, the license for glyphosate will expire, and the widely used herbicide will be withdrawn from use in Europe within six months.
“This latest postponement is a sign that the significant opposition to re-approving glyphosate is being taken seriously by key EU governments,” said Bart Staes, spokesperson for Green Environment and food safety.
Glyphosate license set to expire in June
“It is clear that the EU Commission and the agro-chemical industry were hell-bent on bulldozing through the approval of glyphosate for unrestricted use for a long timeframe but thankfully this push has been headed off for now.
“We hope this postponement will convince more EU governments to join in opposing the approval of this controversial substance and, at the very least, to proactively propose comprehensive restrictions on its use.
“The Commission cannot keep coming back with proposals that do not address the concerns with glyphosate. Instead, it needs to finally recognize that there are major problems with glyphosate and legislate for this.”
The European Parliament issued a non-binding resolution in April to renew the license for glyphosate for another seven years, instead of the 15 years requested by the European Commission.
European Parliament recommends glyphosate for professional use only
The resolution recommended glyphosate be used for professional use only, withdrawing its application on parks, playgrounds and gardens open to the public.
The proposal was passed 374 to 225, with 102 abstentions, according to reports. While it was not the outright ban environmentalists had hoped for, it was a step in the right direction.
The next move was for experts sitting on the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed to vote to either adopt or reject the Commission’s proposal by a majority vote in May.
“Only last month, the European Parliament voted to highlight its concerns with glyphosate and adopted a resolution opposing approval of glyphosate for most of its uses,” said Staes.
“MEPs voted to oppose the approval of glyphosate in agriculture where there are alternative methods for weed control, in the pre-harvest stage, in public parks and playgrounds and for hobby gardeners.
“EU governments should now take this on board both in terms of the pending EU approval but also at national level, where member states can introduce their own bans or restrictions, as France.”
It’s unclear when the committee will convene again; however, the commission may introduce a new proposal or request an extension for a shorter time frame, such as two years, reports Eco Watch.
“While the agro-chemical lobby is desperately trying to spin it otherwise, the finding by the WHO’S IARC that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans is of major concern. This, combined with the established negative impacts on the environment, should be leading to a global moratorium on its use,” Staes adds.
Roundup’s inert ingredients more dangerous than glyphosate
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has increasingly been scrutinized since the World Health Organization declared it a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
However, we’re now learning that Roundup’s inert or chemically inactive ingredients (also called co-formulants), are potentially more harmful than glyphosate itself.
Because Monsanto and other crop chemical companies consider co-formulants a trade secret, independent researchers have been obstructed in their efforts to study the effects these chemicals have on humans.
However, Robin Mesnage, a cellular and molecular toxicologist in London, was able to reverse engineer some of the components of Roundup, allowing them to be studied.
He and his team found that five of the co-formulants interfere with “the function of both the mitochondria in human placental cells and aromatase, an enzyme that affects sexual development,” reported The Intercept.
“Not only did these chemicals, which aren’t named on herbicide labels, affect biological functions, they did so at levels far below the concentrations used in commercially available products.”
Stay tuned as Natural News continues to reveal the damaging health effects of inert co-formulants found in pesticides.