The GUE/NGL Group had advocated a total ban on the substance
This vote to re-approve glyphosate for 7 as opposed to the usual 15 years is non-binding on the Commission and EU member states, but arguably carries moral weight. The EU member states will take the final vote.
While this is not the ban that we and many groups wanted, the Parliament asks for significant restrictions on glyphosate use:
· No approval of non-professional use
· No approval in or close to public parks/playground/gardens
· No approval where integrated pest management systems are sufficient for necessary weed control
· Strict limitations on pre-harvest applications (desiccation), which are deemed unacceptable.
Outcome of vote on glyphosate an “outrageous gamble”
The European Parliament today agreed to a new 7-year authorization for the controversial pesticide glyphosate*, against the 15-year re-authorization originally proposed by the European Commission. The GUE/NGL Group had advocated a total ban on the substance.
Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná, GUE/NGL coordinator on the Parliament's Committee on the Environment and Public Health, said: "I am really disappointed by the outcome of today's vote on our objection to the re-authorization of the glyphosate herbicide. Our objection has been distorted. Some really bad amendments were tabled by right-wing groups in order to weaken a ban on glyphosate in the resolution and, unfortunately, they were approved.
"Right-wing groups succeeded in passing their amendment calling on the Commission to renew the approval of glyphosate for another 7 years. Glyphosate is ‘carcinogenic’ to animals and ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans and its authorization should not be renewed. This is an outrageous gamble with the health of European citizens by the Commission and right-wing groups. And it also goes against the wishes of two-thirds of EU citizens. Today it is big corporations like Monsanto that have won and the health of European citizens that has lost."
For Dutch GUE/NGL MEP Anja Hazekamp "It is disappointing that the European Parliament has put the importance of the profits of multinationals like Monsanto over our environment and the health of people and animals."
"The widespread use and carcinogenic effects of glyphosate are a dangerous combination. This poison is found in rivers, ground water and in our food. Research shows that half of all people in Europe have glyphosate traces their bodies. 1.5 million people signed a petition against glyphosate and as many as two-thirds of all Europeans want a ban on the substance. Glyphosate is almost impossible to avoid and should be taken off the market now that the safety for humans and animals cannot be guaranteed," MEP Hazekamp concluded.
* Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world and one of Europe's best sellers. The poison kills weeds in gardens and is widely used in agriculture. The World Health Organization warned last year that the herbicide is probably carcinogenic. It possibly also has hormone-disrupting effects. Producer Monsanto and the European Commission, however, argue that the poison is safe to use.