As the Commission’s decision on a 10-year renewal of a license for the use of controversial weed killer glyphosate nears – expected for Wednesday next week – MEPs in the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted to object to the Commission’s plan, in a last ditch effort to block the decision.
Glyphosate is the world's most widely sold weed killer and its use has been linked to cancer and loss of biodiversity. GUE/NGL has called for a full ban.
The strongly worded resolution, to be voted again next week in the plenary, condemns the Commission for failing to protect public health and the environment and calls for additional curbs on glyphosate use until a full withdrawal by 2020.
GUE/NGL MEP Kateřina Konečná proposed the objection on behalf of the group:
“The Commission must listen to the voices of over a million EU citizens who signed the European Citizen's Initiative asking glyphosate to be banned from the market because of serious health and biodiversity concerns.”
“By submitting its proposal to Parliament only days before it is due to make a final decision on the authorisation, the Commission wants to avoid democratic scrutiny in the hopes it can get its proposal approved without noise.”
Speaking ahead of the vote, GUE/NGL MEP Younous Omarjee accused the Commission of acting on behalf of industry lobbies:
“It is time for the European Union to stop cowing to industry lobbies and Monsanto. The collusion between European agencies and Monsanto poses a serious threat to democracy.”
“European heads of state must take into consideration the concerns of European citizens and ban glyphosate,” he added.
GUE/NGL MEP Anja Hazekamp welcomed the outcome of the Committee vote and called for a Commission U-turn on glyphosate:
“The ENVI committee reaffirmed today that the proposed 10-year renewal of glyphosate is completely unacceptable. The risk analysis and evaluations done by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and EU member states are based on flawed information manipulated by industry. Comprehensive evidence of this has been made public in the Monsanto Papers.”
“To expose citizens, animals and the environment to Monsanto’s poison for 10 more years is an irresponsible act of the European Commission. It ignores independent scientists, the revelations in the Monsanto Papers and the Stop Glyphosate European Citizens’ Initiative, which has gathered more than 1 million signatures. Glyphosate should be taken off the market and its phase-out should begin today,” Hazekamp concluded.