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Date updated : 30-Mar-2016

Status: closed

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Tell the European Commission to ban glyphosate and get off the pesticide treadmill!

Resistance from member states and mobilized citizens has postponed renewed authorization in the European Union of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and the world's most widely-used herbicide. On March 8, the EU's Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed postponed a decision when Italy joined France, the Netherlands and Sweden in opposing renewal. But the Committee will vote in May, and additional pressure is needed to ensure that the European Commission does not cut a deal with the corporate agrochemical giants which would keep Europe locked into the deadly spiral of increasing pesticide applications for another fifteen years.

In March last year, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report which classified glyphosate as 'probably carcinogenic to humans.' New evidence has documented the widespread presence of glyphosate in our food and our bodies following years of reckless application.

But in November, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) - on the basis of reports prepared by the industry - officially rejected the IARC's conclusions and declared that glyphosate poses "no carcinogenic hazard for humans" or any other health hazard, paving the way for renewal when the current authorization expires this June.

Glyphosate gradually weakens rather than protects crops by immobilising soil nutrients, especially trace elements, and promoting the development of fungal pathogens, which leads farmers to use additional pesticide products to deal with the resulting crop diseases.

Europe needs to exit the global pesticide treadmill. Continued authorization would not only place lives at risk in Europe; it would boost efforts to undo Sri Lanka's recent ban on glyphosate and derail momentum towards banning or seriously restricting glyphosate in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador and elsewhere.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International and the IUF, with the endorsement of the IUF European regional organization EFFAT, therefore call for maximum public pressure on the European Commission and its agencies. Use the form below to send a message urging them to ban glyphosate in the EU and to provide comprehensive support for a safer, saner food system which does not put agricultural workers in the front lines of exposure and inject massive quantities of toxic chemicals into the environment.