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MEPs demand phasing out of glyphosate weedkiller

25 October 2017, 22:04 CET
MEPs demand phasing out of glyphosate weedkiller

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(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament voted Tuesday for immediate restrictions on the use of controversial glyphosate-based herbicides, leading to a full ban on use of the substance by December 2022.

MEPs are opposed to the European Commission's proposal to renew the controversial herbicide licence for 10 years. Instead, they say the EU should draw up plans to phase out the substance, starting with a complete ban on household use and a ban in use for farming when biological alternatives (i.e. "integrated pest management systems") work well for weed control.

Their resolution says glyphosate should be completely banned in the EU by 15 December 2022, with the necessary intermediate steps.

The EU risk assessment process before renewing the substance's licence was mired in controversy, as the UN cancer agency and EU food safety and chemicals agencies came to different conclusions regarding its safety.

The release of the so-called 'Monsanto Papers' - internal documents from the company which owns and produces RoundupĀ®, of which glyphosate is the main active substance - shed doubt on the credibility of some studies used in the EU evaluation on glyphosate safety, say MEPs.

The EU's authorisation procedure, including the scientific evaluation of substances, should be based only on published, peer-reviewed and independent studies commissioned by competent public authorities, MEPs say. EU agencies should be beefed up in order to allow them to work in this way.

Following the non-binding resolution - adopted by 355 votes to 204, with 111 abstentions - EU member states are due to vote on a Commission proposal to renew the marketing authorisation of glyphosate on Wednesday.

A European Citizen's initiative calling for a ban on the herbicide was symbolically handed over to the Commission yesterday. It reached more than a million signatures in less than a year and will trigger a public hearing in Parliament in November.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text will be available here (click on 24.10.2017)

EP research: Renewing the approval for glyphosate

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