June 16, 2016
Within a matter of weeks, glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, declared a likely human carcinogen by the World Health Organization last spring, may no longer be approved for use in Europe.
As we reported recently, the European Union is scrambling to reach an agreement regarding the relicensing of the world’s most widely used herbicide; however, time is running out, and instead of caving to pressure from companies like Monsanto, member countries are standing firm in their decision not to approve glyphosate renewal.
Establishment lawmakers controlled by the special interests of agrochemical companies have expressed outrage regarding EU member countries’ reluctance to endorse the renewal of Monsanto’s herbicide.
The EU’s health chief was reportedly “fuming” last week, after several key nations including Germany, Italy and France abstained from the June 6 vote to temporarily extend market approval of glyphosate for 12 to 18 months pending further scientific review.
Defenders of the chemical industry infuriated by their inability to coerce nations into approving glyphosate
This presents an enormous road block for the European Commission, as it is in desperate need of approval from either Germany, Italy or France. “EU majority rules require at least one of the three big countries to come on side, but they are so far refusing to show their hand,” reported Independent, an Irish-based news publication.
Despite failing to receive majority support or 65 percent of the EU’s population, the European Commission has decided to push forward with its plan to temporarily renew the glyphosate license through an appeal committee, which has scheduled a hearing for June 24.
If that fails, the European Union can technically adopt its own policy; however, this sort of blatant disregard for the people is far less tolerated in Europe than in other regions, such as in the U.S., where Monsanto is king and the government routinely ignores the American people with impunity. Eighty percent of Monsanto’s revenue is generated in the Americas, while Europe makes up less than 13 percent of sales.
Dismissing the rights of citizens is far less tolerated in Europe
“Three strikes must mean the approval of glyphosate is finally ruled out. After the third failed attempt, the Commission must stop continuing to try and force through the approval of glyphosate. Such a move would raise major democratic concerns about the EU’s decision-making process,” said Bart Staes, spokesman for green environment and food safety.
“The process of phasing out glyphosate and other toxic herbicides and pesticides from agriculture must begin now, and this means reorienting the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy towards a more sustainable agricultural model,” he adds.
As Staes and many other scientists and environmentalists point out, glyphosate use poses myriad risks, particularly with regard to public health and the environmental resources humans depend on for survival.
Glyphosate – as well as many other pesticides and industrial chemicals such as the plasticizer BPA – is a proven endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics natural sex hormones in the human body, interfering with a range of important functions related to sexual and reproductive development.
Endocrine disruption in humans and animals adversely impacts the brain and the immune system, as well as causing cancer, according to the National Institute of Health. Other common endocrine disruptors include arsenic, mercury, lead, atrazine, phthalates and perchlorate.