The European Parliament has announced a vote in favor of reapproving the glyphosate herbicide, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, for another seven years. This decision was made despite a widespread protest campaign calling for a full ban on the chemical.
"This is an outrageous gamble with the health of European citizens by the Commission and right-wing groups," Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná, GUE/NGL coordinator on the Parliament's Committee on the Environment and Public Health, said to GM Watch.
"It also goes against the wishes of two-thirds of EU citizens. Today it is big corporations like Monsanto that have won and the health of European citizens that has lost."
The reauthorization is being framed as a compromise: the weedkiller was originally supposed to be given market approval for an additional 15 years. The motivations for the seven-year approval were largely based on the importance of the European agricultural sector and the current across-the-board reliance on the weedkiller of this sector.
"The use of the plant protection product glyphosate worries European citizens, obviously, but at the same time, the agricultural sector depends highly on it and it is absolutely necessary to find solutions to replace it before totally forbidding it," said Angelique Delahaye, a French member of the EPP and the Group’s Shadow Rapporteur, according to RT.
The non-binding resolution stipulated that the use of the chemical be limited to professionals only and kept out of parks and playgrounds. Approval will also not be granted where integrated pest management systems suffice for weed control.
"(This decision) could be devastating to the economy and health of not only Europeans, but to the citizens of hundreds of other countries who are likely to follow suit," said Zen Honeycutt, with Moms Across America. The economic issues referenced include cancer, which is projected to cost Americans 158 billion by 2020 according to the NIH. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans” in a statement last year.
The resolution passed by 374 votes to 225, with 102 abstentions.
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