News

2017-11-27 |

EU settles dispute over major weedkiller glyphosate

EU countries have voted to renew the licence of glyphosate, a widely used weedkiller at the centre of environmental concerns.

The proposal at the EU Commission's Appeal Committee got 18 votes in favour and nine against, with one abstention, ending months of deadlock.

The Commission says the new five-year licence will be ready before the current one expires on 15 December.

Glyphosate is marketed as Roundup by the US agrochemical giant Monsanto.

2017-11-22 |

MEPs divided on the citizens’ initiative to ban glyphosate

More than a million European citizens have signed a petition to ban glyphosate, a pesticide classed as a probable carcinogen. In the face of European concerns, MEPs are divided. EURACTIV France reports.

Around 1.3 million European citizens want a ban on glyphosate.

The European Parliament, which rejected a 10-year renewal of glyphosate authorisation in October and proposed a total ban by 2022, debated on Monday (November 20th) a European citizens’ initiative entitled “Prohibiting Glyphosate and protecting people and the environment from toxic pesticides “.

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EU Member States will vote on renewal of glyphosate’s licence for five years on 27 November.

2017-11-22 |

PRESS RELEASE: Strong Institutional commitment needed to ensure a good legislative transition

Brussels, 22 November 2017 - The trilogue agreement for a new organic regulation reached last June was adopted by the Special Committee on Agriculture on Monday and by the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture today.

The next step is the sign off in the Parliament's plenary and the Council of Agriculture Ministers.

Christopher Stopes, IFOAM EU President: "IFOAM EU acknowledge the huge effort made by the Institutions to improve the text. We recognise that a number of concerns highlighted by IFOAM EU has been taken into consideration and some improvements have been made. The legal check has also solved some of the inconsistencies previously highlighted.

Nevertheless, the lack of a strong majority in both the SCA and the AGRI Committee has shown the fragility of this text. Countries like Austria (biggest share of organic land) and Germany (biggest EU market) did not endorse the text as it still includes a number of inconsistencies and mistakes that will make the practical implementation very difficult."

2017-11-22 |

Scientists warn of toxic chemical cocktail sprayed on food

As the number of chemicals applied to vegetables sold in supermarkets goes up 17-fold, experts say pesticides must be phased out of food production. Report by Claire Robinson

The number of chemicals applied to vegetables sold in supermarkets has increased by up to 17-fold over 40 years, according to data presented at a conference organized by the Epidemiology and Public Health Section of the Royal Society of Medicine in London on 20 November, which I attended on behalf of GMWatch.

Just as disturbing as the data on our escalating exposure to toxic pesticide mixtures was the evidence presented at the conference that the regulatory system for pesticides is failing.

Scientists explained that while the system tests the single active ingredients in pesticides, it fails to test the many accompanying chemicals (adjuvants) used in pesticide formulations to enhance the effectiveness of the active ingredients. It also fails to test the combined effects of the formulations of chemicals used in commercial pesticides, let alone the cocktail effect of being exposed to multiple pesticides, as most farmers, rural residents and consumers are.

2017-11-21 |

The Monsanto Papers, Part 2 — Reaping a bitter harvest

In order to save glyphosate, the Monsanto corporation has undertaken an effort to destroy the United Nations' cancer agency by any means possible. Here is part two of an investigation from Le Monde.

Editors Note: This month Le Monde won the Prix Varenne Presse quotidienne nationale (Varenne award for the national daily press) for their Monsanto Papers series, an investigation on the worldwide war the Monsanto corporation has started in order to save glyphosate, originally published in June.

Below is part two, originally published June 2, 2017, translated by the Health and Environment Alliance.

They had promised it was "safer than table salt" – but that was in the advertisements.

It is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is the main ingredient in their flagship product, Roundup, the bedrock on which their firm has built its economic model, its wealth and its reputation. A product which has been on the market for more than 40 years and became a best-seller with the development of genetically-modified seeds called "Roundup Ready."

It is this product, glyphosate, that could in fact be carcinogenic.

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