Wednesday, December 9, 2015
16 Organisations deliver a message: 135,733 Europeans call to ban glyphosate
Wednesday 9 December, at 12:00 the call was delivered at DG SANTE’s premises located in Breydel Street, No 4, 1040 Brussel (Etterbeek), to Mr Flueh, Chair of the Standing Committee for Food Chain and Animal Health - Section: "Phytopharmaceuticals - Legislation, on behalf of Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of Member States and the Commission is meeting this Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December to discuss, for the first time, EFSA’s conclusion on glyphosate.
Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation classified it as “probable human carcinogen”1. This is the second highest danger level for cancer that can be awarded by the WHO, and in Europe, such pesticides must be banned from use in agriculture.
However, in November EFSA published its peer-review report concluding that glyphosate “is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans” giving a green light for its authorization in the EU2.
EFSA’s conclusion was criticized by 96 independent scientists from 25 countries, who highlighted the “weaknesses” of EFSA’s evaluation, such as dismissing evidence from epidemiology studies and from exposure to glyphosate-products, and using unpublished studies that data are unavailable for revision3.
Numerous studies available in the academic scientific literature have shown that glyphosate or glyphosate-based herbicides, cause not just cancer but a range of toxic effects in humans, laboratory animals and wildlife. Glyphosate products are also toxic to non-target organisms like worms and soil bacteria, and threaten the equilibrium and productivity of environmental ecosystems. All these studies have been excluded from the regulatory risk assessment and a manifesto to ban glyphosate for these reasons has been put together, signed by 545 scientists4.
Following all the above, 16 organisations have come together to deliver a message from 135,733 Europeans calling for a ban on glyphosate: “No more weed killer in our bodies. Decline the renewal of glyphosate, a poison commonly used in herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup. Independent experts of the WHO classified it as a probable cause of cancer. We do not want this poisonous chemical anywhere near our parks, our homes, our food or our bodies.”
WeMove.EU senior campaigner Mika Leandro says “Europeans are concerned that this poisonous, potentialy cancer-inducing chemical could continue to be sprayed in the parks where our children play and on the food we eat for another ten years.”
Environmental toxicologist Angeliki Lyssimachou from Pesticides Action Network Europe highlights that “the placing of plant protection products on the market is underpinned by the precautionary principle in order to ensure that active substances or products placed on the market do not adversely affect human or animal health or the environment’ (PPPR 1107/2009 Art.4.4). Thus, the European Commission must apply the law the ban glyphosate from agriculture and public areas”.
Campaign in partnership with Campact.de, Corporate Europe Observatory, Ecologistas en Action, Fundación Alborada, Générations futures, Global2000, HEAL, Pesticide Action Network Europe, Pesticide Action Network - Italie, Pesticide Action Network - Allemagne, Pesticide Action Network UK, Skiftet, WECF, Wemos and WeMove.EU.
Mika Leandro (Senior campaigner, WeMove.EU): 0033 (0)672864031
Angeliki Lyssimachou (PAN Europe): 0032 (0)496 392930