Glyphosate: EU decision on use of controversial herbicide delayed for another 10 years (but Italy votes in favor)

Will it be possible to use glyphosate in Europe for the next 10 years? We’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that. An EU decision to renew a herbicide linked to several risks to health and ecosystems has been delayed after failing to reach a qualified majority. But despite pressure from environmental groups and citizens, Italy voted to use the pesticide…

The future of the world’s most widely used herbicide in Europe is still uncertain. Today EU member states were invited to vote on the renewalusing glyphosate for another 10 years, but the decision is postponed. In fact, no qualified majority was reached either for or against the extension.

Now the ball will pass to the EU’s Appeals Committee, convened for a hearing around mid-November and a decision on the possibility of continuing the use of this controversial substance on European soil, currently allowed until until next December 15.

Also read: Glyphosate levels even exceed the limits by a thousand times, a study that throws us in the face of the pesticide disaster in Lombardy

Italy’s position on the use of glyphosate and the petition against its renewal

If there is still uncertainty about the position Europe will take, our country’s position is clear. Italy actually voted to renew, despite calls from environmental groups and a petition launched by Greenpeace and signed 75 thousand citizens, who asked the government to oppose it in order to protect the health of Italians and the environment.

Italy’s favorable vote is paradoxical. In our country, we protest the import of wheat from Canada because it contains glyphosate residues, but at the same time the government votes to resume spraying our fields with this dangerous pesticide,” comments Federica Ferrario, Greenpeace Italy agricultural campaign manager. – We ask the Italian government to reconsider and prevent the further authorization of glyphosate in the EU, as it did in the previous renewal in 2017.

Banning the use of glyphosate would facilitate Europe’s transition to more sustainable alternatives to synthetic herbicides, for example by integrating physical, mechanical, biological and ecological farming practices with the extensive knowledge now available about cultivated plants and weeds. The dependence of European and Italian agriculture on an ecologically harmful and probably carcinogenic herbicide such as glyphosate is contradictory: this substance simply has no role in the transition to modern and ecological agriculture.

Harmful effects of glyphosate

The pesticide patented by the American multinational company Monsanto was launched in the 1970s and is currently the most widely used worldwide. The substance is one of the main causes of water contamination with significant impacts on biodiversity.

A number of studies have warned of the harmful effects of glyphosate on the ecosystem (especially bees) and human health. In particular, this pesticide has been shown to be capable of damaging the nervous system and is linked to the development of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s changes the hormonal system and harms pregnant women.

Already in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. But to this day, despite numerous studies and confirmed cases of illness caused by exposure to the pesticide, Monsanto’s proprietary herbicide continues to be widely used in the agricultural sector.

News of a recognized link originating in France dates back to recent days between prenatal exposure to glyphosate and severe malformations which struck Théo Grataloup, a boy who is now 16 years old. The correlation has been confirmed by the Professional Pesticide Victims Compensation Fund and now the family of a young man who was born with esophageal atresia and underwent more than 50 operations has received compensation.

“If we extend the use of glyphosate for 10 years, we will reap new victims: farmers will get cancer, children will be born with malformations,” Théo’s mother warns, loudly asking France to vote against this evil and dangerous decision.

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Sources: European Commission/Greenpeace Italy

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