A small majority of the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health (ENVI) committee blocked Tuesday a proposal by the European United Left / Nordic Green Left Parliamentary Group (GUE/NGL) to take the World’s most used herbicide – glyphosate – off the market by the end of 2015, if it is not given re-authorization in the EU by then.
The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted against the objection raised by ENVI Rapporteur Kateřina Konečná, a member of the Nordic Green Left faction, who tried to block extension of glyphosate. The herbicide created by Monsanto is best known by the brand name Roundup.
The motion was rejected with 25 votes in favor, 32 against, 10 abstentions.
Sales of the herbicide, which is contained in 750 products in the EU, must stop in December if not given re-authorization. The European Commission proposes to extend marketing to June of next year.
The GUE/NGL had drafted and proposed, together with other MEPs from across the Parliament, an objection based on Rule 106 on the ‘ Extension of the approval period of the active substance glyphosate.’ The outcome of the vote, which was a nominal vote, was disappointing and surprisingly, some members of the Parliament’s Green group were among the blocking majority.
GUE/NGL MEPs Kateřina Konečná and Anja Hazekamp commented:
“Various scientific data indicate that the glyphosate in pesticides has serious risks for public health and the environment. The recent IARC study, done for the WHO, indicates that glyphosate is possibly even carcinogenic in humans. Since there is enough data to at least seriously cast doubt on the safety of glyphosate, the precautionary principle should be applied. This would mean that glyphosate, and all products – like Roundup – that contain this substance should be taken of the market until a final decision is taken by the European Commission.
“The rejection of the GUE/NGL resolution means that glyphosate will continue to be sold and used, while the European Commission continues its evaluation that has been delayed since 2012.
“The GUE/NGL considers it disgraceful that several groups failed to take their responsibility towards citizens during yesterday’s ENVI vote, and preferred to prioritise economic and political reasons and the industrial lobby over the protection of the environment and the health of European citizens.”