July 6, 2016
The European Commission has re-approved the use of glyphosate for another 18 months, despite repeatedly being unable to secure a majority decision from EU member states.
The last minute decision came as no surprise to most observers, and serves as testimony to how powerful the chemical industry truly is in terms of influencing legislation – even when the populace has consistently voiced its opposition.
From Eco Watch:
“The EU’s current approval of glyphosate had been set to expire on Thursday [June 30] but due to the member state gridlock, the EU’s executive body had the final say on whether or not the controversial weedkiller remained on Europe’s shelves. Had glyphosate’s license been allowed to expire, manufacturers would have been given six months to phase out products containing the chemical, such as Monsanto’s Roundup and other herbicides. …
“Europe’s opinion of the widely used pesticide has been sharply divided ever since March 2015 when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. To complicate matters, other regulatory agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority, declared glyphosate as safe in November.”
Monsanto vs. the people
Despite the 18-month reprieve, glyphosate’s days may be numbered – at least in Europe. The commission had originally planned to extend the licensing of glyphosate for another 15 years, but growing public opposition to its use has forced a reassessment of its long-term use on the continent.
The 18-month extension will allow the European Chemicals Agency to continue its assessment of the safety of glyphosate, but Green Party members and other activists see the decision as a failure by the EU governing body to acknowledge the opposition.
Green Party MEP Bart Staes said:
“This decision by the commission to extend the approval of glyphosate in spite of last week’s vote shows a disdain for the opposition by the public and EU governments to this controversial toxic herbicide.
“As perhaps the first EU decision after the UK referendum, it shows the commission is failing to learn the clear lesson that the EU needs to finally start listening to its citizens again. This temporary extension must be the beginning of the end for glyphosate; we would now urge EU governments and regions to exercise their rights to impose significant restrictions on its use, so we can begin the process of phasing-out glyphosate.”
It has been revealed by European health commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, that France, Germany and Italy had quietly pushed for reapproval of glyphosate, despite publicly supporting the opposition to renewal – a testament to the lobbying power of Monsanto and other companies who manufacture and sell glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide.
It will be interesting to see how the purveyors of cancer-causing chemicals fare in the long run against an increasingly aware and opposed European populace – perhaps the days of widespread glyphosate use are finally nearing an end.
Taking steps to avoid glyphosate exposure
Meanwhile, back in the United States, glyphosate residue can be found almost everywhere: in human urine, breast milk, breakfast cereals and even beer – to name just a few. Even products claiming to be “100 percent natural” often contain glyphosate.
Clearly, the best way to ensure that the food you eat is glyphosate-free is to grow it yourself. And one of the best and easiest ways to get started is by purchasing the EasyGreen MikroFarm automatic sprouting system, which will allow you to grow your own organic wheatgrass and sprouts with a minimum of expense or fuss.