European Union moves closer to pesticide ban

The last week of October added a dramatic chapter to the never-ending glyphosate saga in Europe.

The future of the herbicide, the active ingredient in Roundup, is still uncertain in the European Union but it’s becoming clear to observers in Canada that the glyphosate brawl is much bigger than one weed killer. It’s about European activists who want to change farming practices around the globe.

“I think it’s finally hitting home that this is not just (about) a chemical here or there. This is an ideological shift,” said Pierre Petelle, president of CropLife Canada, a group that represents manufacturers of pest control and plant breeding products. 

“Every day I look at the news that comes out of Europe and I pity my colleagues that work there.”

The European Parliament recently voted to phase out the use of glyphosate by 2022. 

However, the European Commission, which is the bloc’s executive branch, then proposed extending the herbicide’s license for five years. A vote on the proposal is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Petelle said it’s hard to guess how that vote will go because when it comes to agricultural chemicals, it seems like science is almost irrelevant in Europe.


“It’s becoming more and more the case, as sad as that is,” he said. “Without some sort of foundation in science, there’s no predictability.”

Canadian farmers should be worried because Europe is edging toward no tolerance for glyphosate and many other pesticides.

This means maximum residue limits on imported grain and food could drop to nothing.

“Then the rest of the world that’s growing food for Europe … is now held hostage to Europe’s political winds on chemistry,” Petelle said. 

“(It’s) going to have an impact on the ability of us (Canadian farmers) and other exporters to use the compounds we need to use.”


  • Denise

    Good for Europe. The people are speaking out. Their governments are listening. They are learning the truth about BT seed and glyphosate plus it’s adjuvants from unbiased sciencific investigations done by reputable scientists, instead of believing thebiotec/agrichemical industries’ fallacies.
    Here the government doesn’t care that much about the people. They care more about supporting their corporate buddies and draining everything they can out of environment and putting the ill-gotten profits in their pockets.

    • FarmersSon63
      • E. Sandwich

        Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer has this to say about the study you linked to.

        “Many groups have been highly critical of the study as being a flawed study, in fact some have gone so far as to call it junk science. It is small in scope and the retrospective questioneer on pesticide usage and self reported diagnoses also from the questioneer is thought to be unreliable”

        Maybe you can ell us what happened to the heath of the over 30% of study participants that they were unable to contact for the follow up telephone interviews.

    • FarmersSon63

      Every regulatory agency in the world has concluded GMO’s and glyphosate are safe…..including the ESFA.

      • E. Sandwich

        Regulatory agencies are not scientific organizations. Take the EPA for example. They allowed Monsanto to hide their own studies that show glyphosate causes cancer as a trade secret just before they approved glyphosate over the objections of their own staff toxicologists.