The 'Great Glyphosate Rebellion' once again blocks Europe's attempt to relicense Monsanto herbicide
-by Julie Wilson
Europe is still scrambling
to reach a decision regarding the relicensing of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, which was declared "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization last spring. If European Union nations fail to reach an agreement by the end of June, the license for
glyphosate will expire. As a result, application of the widely used herbicide will be completely withdrawn from Europe within six months, Natural News has reported.
The European Commission originally proposed renewing the license for 15 years, but failed to garner support following uproar from environmentalists that meticulously outlined the severe health and environmental effects associated with glyphosate.
In response, the EU suggested renewing the herbicide for 12–18 months while the European Chemicals Agency completes a "scientific study" it hopes will lay mounting concerns regarding the safety of glyphosate to rest.
But that won't work either, because it's too late. The science on glyphosate is already in, and everyone knows it. Research shows that even ultra-low dose exposure to the chemical has the ability to permanently alter DNA, according to recent studies.
The science on glyphosate is already in: It's toxic to humans, the environment and it needs to be banned!
The EU's proposal to extend
the license for glyphosate for 12–18 months "failed to win the qualified majority needed for adoption," Reuters has reported. Seven member states abstained from the vote, while 20 backed the
Bart Staes, a spokesman for Green environment and food safety applauded the EU governments that stuck to their guns and refused to authorize the toxic herbicide. "There are clear concerns about the health risks with glyphosate, both as regards it being a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor.
"Moreover, glyphosate's devastating impact on biodiversity should have already led to its ban. Thankfully, the significant public mobilization and political opposition to re-approving glyphosate has been taken seriously by key EU governments, who have forced the EU Commission to back down," said Staes.
Technically, the EU may "submit its proposal to an appeal committee of political representatives of the 28 member states within a month." And if that doesn't work, the European Commission could adopt its own policy.
'Three strikes must mean the approval of glyphosate is finally ruled out'
However, Staes argues that
three failed attempts to reach an agreement regarding the relicensing of glyphosate means the Commission "must stop continuing to try and force through the approval of glyphosate. Such a move would
raise major democratic concerns about the EU's decision-making process.
"The process of phasing out glyphosate and other toxic herbicides and pesticides from agriculture must begin now, and this means reorienting the EU's Common Agricultural Policy towards a more sustainable agricultural model," said Staes.
In April, the European Parliament issued a non-binding resolution to renew the license for glyphosate for another seven years. The resolution recommended that glyphosate be used for professional use only, withdrawing its application on parks, playgrounds and gardens open to the public.
The proposal was passed 374 to 225, with 102 abstentions, according to reports. While it was not the outright ban environmentalists had hoped for, it was a step in the right direction.
The dangers of Roundup's co-formulants
In addition to the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, we're now learning that Roundup's "inert
ingredients" (meaning they're supposedly inactive), are potentially more harmful than glyphosate itself.
Robin Mesnage, a cellular and molecular toxicologist in London, successfully reverse-engineered some of the components in Roundup in order to evaluate their safety. Because Monsanto and other biotech companies consider co-formulants a trade secret, scientists were forced to recreate the chemicals so they could be studied.
Robin and his team found that five of the co-formulants interfere with "the function of both the mitochondria in human placental cells and aromatase, an enzyme that affects sexual development," The Intercept revealed in a groundbreaking report.