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European Union extends approval for weed killer claimed to harm health
29 November 2017, 12:24 | Bernice Figueroa
Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide in a gardening store in Lille France
"I have asked the government to make the necessary arrangements so that the use of glyphosate is prohibited in France as soon as alternatives have been found, and at the latest within three years", Macron said, via Twitter.
After a drawn-out process, the European Union backed the extension with a qualified majority.
Members States yesterday voted to accept the European Commission's proposal to renew the license for glyphosate for an additional five years. A qualified majority of member states voted in favour of the Commission's proposal for a five-year re-approval.
European Union health and food safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said that "when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making".
The UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland were among the countries that voted in favour of the chemical's reauthorisation, while Germany, France and Italy all voted against. Anyone interested in building trust between interlocutors can not behave that way " the Environment Minister added. "Five more years of glyphosate will put our health and environment at risk, and is a major setback to more sustainable farming methods".
The EU risk assessment process on glypyhosate has been mired in controversy, as the United Nations cancer agency differed to EFSA and ECHA in its conclusions regarding the safety of the herbicide. The Commission and Parliament position were based on findings from the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, who both concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to be a carcinogen. According to the letter, the study was co-authored by a former Monsanto employee.
Environmentalists had hoped on an immediate ban since they claim that the weed killer, used in chemical giant Monsanto's popular Roundup herbicide, is linked to cancer.
Campaigners say Monsanto ghostwrote research papers for regulators, enlisted EPA officials to block a U.S. government review of glyphosate and formed front groups to discredit critical scientists and journalists, citing documents revealed in a U.S. lawsuit by non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma sufferers.
She also said that the Paper reveals how Monsanto "enlisted" three EPA officials to block a 2015 Glyphosate Review by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that "Monsanto said would likely agree with IARC".
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