Today the EU Appeal Committee – consisting of experts from the EU member states and the European Commission – has approved the renewal of glyphosate license for 5 years, with representatives of 18 out of 28 EU member states voting in favour.
A major role was played by Germany which backed the re-approval, while in previous votes it had always abstained.
This represents a major setback for the future of food and agriculture, as well as for the health of the planet and people. Most importantly, it raises vital questions on the state of democracy in Europe, considering the overwhelming stand expressed by civil society against toxic agriculture, with more than 1.3 million people petitioning this year the ECI to ban glyphosate.
A position supported by scientific evidence that was, once again, dismissed in front of big corporate power which, at this point, seems more influential than the positions expressed by European citizens. Today’s vote yet again confirms what Navdanya International, together with many other civil society organisations and alongside many European members of parliament, has been maintaining for months and years: the question of a healthy and sustainable agriculture and food system is deeply linked to the state of our democracy.
This decision also shows that the commission has completely ignored the resolution approved on 24 October by the European Parliament in favour of a progressive phase-out of the use of glyphosate by the end of 2022.
As Vandana Shiva, Navdanya International president, pointed out: “The Poison Cartel is not just spreading toxic pollution throughout the planet and threatening life. As this decision of glyphosate renewal shows, toxic corporations are corrupting science and decision making in-spite of the scientific evidence of harm, and in spite of the democratic will of the people and parliament. They are threatening the very basis of democracy”.
This decision underlines the deep lack of transparency in the authorisation process while hundreds of independent scientific studies published have exposed the disastrous impact of glyphosate- based herbicides on the health of people and environment.
European member states representatives have ignored the precautionary principle and missed a huge opportunity of asserting their role and responsibility as defenders of citizens’ will against the interests of large corporations.
The fight is far from over, as all Member States, in compliance with the new condition adopted today at the EU level, are called to reassess approvals of herbicides containing the glyphosate.
As of today, what Navdanya International is calling for is a new and enforced collective effort to reverse an undemocratic system which will cause further damages to our society and to the same European institutions. Navdanya International is committed to this challenge for an agriculture and food for the future of our planet. An agricultural model that respects the environment, resources and health and takes care of the integrity of soil and biodiversity, working in harmony with natural processes.
There is much knowledge, research and concrete cases to decisively say we do not need to use agro-toxic products to produce our food. As Navdanya’s work over the last three decades has shown, we can grow/produce enough nutrition for twice the current population, we can increase farmers’ incomes tenfold by giving up buying toxic chemicals, we can address malnutrition and chronic diseases, and we can create climate resilience. This is why we are creating a network of poison free organic zones. Through poison free food and farming, we sow the seeds for a brighter future which guarantees resilience, sustainability, justice and peace.
Read the Report “The Toxic Story of Round Up”
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By Ruchi Shroff, 19 October 2017
By Ruchi Shroff – Lifegate, 18 September 2017
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