On November 17, Europe approved 5 years of use of the herbicide glyphosate. This decision leaves open the possibility of successive license renewals in the future, which is contrary to the previous decision of the European Parliament to completely ban the use of glyphosate within 5 years.
The renewal of the glyphosate permit (in addition to the possible renewals that could come later) will expose the population and the European nature to a pesticide that has been classified as probably carcinogenic by the World Health Organization.
As if that were not enough, studies show that the herbicide affects the hormonal system, that is, it is an endocrine disruptor.
French Minister Nicolas Hulot and his colleagues from Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Greece sent this letter on December 19 to Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
In the letter, they express their wish to comply with the recommendation of the European Parliament and immediately ban certain uses of the herbicide. Specifically, those that pose the greatest risk of contamination of people and the environment:
- the pre-harvest use that is made to dry out certain crops, and that leaves a large amount of residue in the food.
its domestic or non-professional use in orchards and gardens, which does not guarantee the safety of the user or other exposed persons.
- the use in public parks and playgrounds where it could be exposed to especially sensitive groups, such as girls, boys, people with weakened immune systems or pregnant women.
In their letter, the six states also demanded that the executive of the European Union carry out a study to identify and make available possible alternatives (chemical, mechanical or biological) to the main agricultural uses of glyphosate.
Hulot and the other ministers further insisted that the Commission deliver on the promise to reform and improve the transparency of the EU chemical approval processes, which the Commission made by rejecting the request of the European Citizens' Initiative, in which more out of a million people asked for a total ban in a pesticide petition.
By Graciela Vizcay Gomez