EU lawmakers demand five-year phase out of glyphosate

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Parliament called on Tuesday for herbicide glyphosate to be phased out in the next five years, prompting the European Commission to drop its proposal for a 10 year license extension.

Europe has been debating the use of the herbicide for more than two years and Tuesday’s non-binding vote comes a day before representatives from the 28 EU member nations were due to meet in Brussels to discuss and give their view on a Commission proposal to extend the license for glyphosate by 10 years.

However, the Commission said it would be instructing its representative at that meeting to seek a broad consensus.

“The direction given is to strive to reach between five and seven years, taking into account the risk assessment made by the European Parliament in today’s vote,” a Commission spokesperson said.

The Parliament voted by 355 to 204 in favour of a resolution urging the European Commission to adopt measures to phase out glyphosate — a key ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling Roundup — across the European Union by mid-December 2022.

It also demanded that the Commission and European Union member states immediately ban the use of glyphosate in households or public parks and on farms if other biological pest control systems were available.

The EU passed an 18-month extension in June 2016 after the bloc failed to agree on a previous proposal to extend the license for 15 years. The current 18-month term expires at the end of the year.

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An initial resolution put before lawmakers called for glyphosate to be phased out by the end of 2020. However, an amendment pushed that back to December 2022.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in March 2015 that glyphosate was a substance that probably causes cancer.

But the European Chemical Agency said in March this year that the chemical should not be classified as such.

The center-right European People’s Party (PEP), the largest grouping in the parliament, had earlier said that Europe needed a five-year extension, rather than a three-year phase out, because of a lack of viable alternatives.

“It is absolutely necessary to find solutions to replace it before totally forbidding it,” Angelique Delahaye, the party’s expert on the issue, said in a statement.

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  • richard

    The beginning of the end for the age of institutionalized ignorance…. the net result of ten years of international activism triumphing over blind faith in technology….

    • ed

      It too bad they could not act more quickly. At least others will follow the leader. If others do mandate 4 or less years, they will become the new leaders in the process, and on and on it will right up until the ultimate winner in the process bans it, like, tomorrow! A long time ago dinosaurs were trending. Now it’s Monsanto!

    • Happy Farmer

      FYI Ed, On the farm glyphosate technology absolutely works. Saves me 1/2 fuel compared to tillage farming. Weeds are controlled better than tillage. That is why you can see in the article that PEP is strongly advocating that Glyphosate NOT be phased out until an alternative is found. At least they seem to have an understanding of all sides of this argument.

      • WeGotta

        Nobody needs to eat carcinogens …

  • Sheryl McCumsey

    The “Monsanto papers” reveal that the carcinogenic effects of this herbicide have been kept hidden for years. Hundreds of studies also reveal the multiple and serious impacts of this herbicide on human health, the environment and livestock. This herbicide is degrading soil around the world. This is a system that does not work. Weed resistance has resulted in new GE crops designed to tolerate di-camba- huge losses of crops have resulted. There was even a conflict between farmers that resulted in a death. In attempting to rectify this Arkansas was setting limits- and Monsanto turns around to sue……..these corporations have infiltrated government, universities and every aspect of our lives to the detriment of all. There is a better way and we need to demand our governments support this before agriculture collapses with the loss of insect life, pollution to our soil and water.

    • Happy Farmer

      There is almost always another way, it may or may not be better than the current way. But please don’t assume to know what is best for my land and my farm.

      • WeGotta

        Sheryl is telling you Monsanto lied for money at the expense of all of our lives.

    • Dennis Weatherald

      The soil health has never been better than today and is improving yearly… Reason: glyphosate and direct seeding. For 100 years/3 generations they used tillage which degrades the biology. The last 20yrs have reversed the trend through use of fertilizer and chemical! Don’t pretend to know my soil!!

      • Bruce

        Since the sod was first broken. My land has been seeded one-half crop and one-half summer fallow. It is organic now. But with one spraying for weeds with rain some fields could produce a 35 to 40 bushel crop per acre of wheat without fertilizer. So the same rule applies here. Don’t pretend you know other peoples soil!

        • richard

          Don’t forget the use and abuse of agritoxins has been normalized in the same way fifty different degenerative diseases have been…. The fact that one leads to the other is part of the matrix referred to as “progress”….where ignorance is bliss and stupidity is contagious….

        • Dennis Weatherald

          There’s no getting around the fact that organic mines the soil. If you don’t put back is gone.

  • Kissing optional

    Four hundred and fifty million (450,000,000) consumers lost from the Canadian glyphosate addicted agribiz industry.
    Perhaps it’s time for the lawmakers of Canada to ignore the duped farm lobby and the duping chemical industry lobby and end their complicity in the use of the carcinogen toxin that is glyphosate.