Glyphosate Vote Cancelled, Approval Process Rocked

BREAKING: A national experts’ vote on the European Commission’s plan to grant a new 15-year lease to the herbicide glyphosate was cancelled today (Tuesday) as several countries raised concerns over cancer warnings by the World Health Organisation, Greenpeace report.

pesticides

Delays had already occurred earlier in the week, following a closed door meeting yesterday, which was due to approve glyphosate until 2031.

Glyphosate approval runs out in June of this year.

Agweek cites EU anonymous sources said they no longer expected a decision at this meeting after France said last week it would oppose extending approval, while EU diplomats said Germany planned to abstain.

Both EU member states and agencies – the European Food Safety Authority and the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC)  – are divided on glyphosate and its approval. The EFSA and IARC have given differing opinions on its carcinogenicity, with the former stating it is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans” and the latter claiming it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

On Friday, it was reported by the Guardian that the Netherlands and Sweeden also oppose approval: The Guardian quoted Swedish environment minister, Åsa Romson, who said: “We won’t take risks with glyphosate and we don’t think that the analysis done so far is good enough. We will propose that no decision is taken until further analysis has been done and the Efsa scientists have been more transparent about their considerations.”

The debate between the agencies has also been heated. As we reported recently the Parlimanetry hearing involving both the EFSA and IARC had some unusually fractious moments.

The EFSA’s executive director, Bernhard Url, railed about  a letter from a group of 96 independent and government scientists – including eight of the 17 members of the IARC working group and all sub group chairs – which claimed the EFSA glyphosate conclusion was “not supported by the evidence”; was “flawed” and should be “disregarded”.

He colourfully described it as “the first sign of the Facebook age of science. You have a scientific assessment, you put it in Facebook and you count how many people like it.”

Meanwhile Dr Chris Wild, the head of the IARC has demanded that the EFSA correct “misrepresentations” of IARC’s Monograph on glyphosate on its website and in distributed materials.

“Dr Wild insists that the corrections must be made before he will agree to meet with EFSA as planned to discuss their different verdicts on glyphosate” GM Watch reported.

More will be revealed on this story as it unfolds…

More

CEO on EFSA and glyphosate

Glyphosate: EU approval process seriously questioned

All ARC2020 articles on pesticides

Oliver Moore
About Oliver Moore 185 Articles
DR. Oliver Moore is the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, where he specialised in organics and direct sales. He is published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. A weekly columnist and contributor with Irish Examiner, he is a regular on Countrywide (Irish farm radio show on the national broadcaster RTE 1) and engages in other communications work around agri-food and rural issues, such as with the soil, permaculture, climate change adaptation and citizen science initiative Grow Observatory . He lectures part time in the Centre for Co-operative Studies UCC                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Oliver voyage beaucoup moins qu’auparavant, pour ce qui concerne son activité professionnelle. Il peut néanmoins admirer par la fenêtre de son bureau les mésanges charbonnières et les corbeaux perchés au sommet du saule dans le jardin de sa maison au cœur de l’écovillage de Cloughjordan, en Irlande. L’écovillage est un site de 67 acres dans le nord du Tipperary. Il comprend d’espaces boisés, des paysages comestibles, des lieux de vie, d’habitation et de travail, ainsi qu’une ferme appartenant à la communauté. Les jours où il travaille dans le bureau du centre d’entreprise communautaire, il profite d’une vue sur les chevaux, les panneaux solaires, les toilettes sèches et les jardins familiaux.  Ce bureau au sein de l’écovillage constitue en effet un tiers-lieu de travail accueillant également des collaborateurs des associations Cultivate et Ecolise, ainsi qu’un laboratoire de fabrication (« fab lab »).  Oliver est membre du conseil d’administration de la ferme communautaire (pour la seconde fois !) et donne également des cours sur le Master en coopératives, agroalimentaire et développement durable à l’University College Cork. Il a une formation en sociologie rurale : son doctorat et les articles qu’il publie dans des journaux scientifiques portent sur ce domaine au sens large. Il consacre la majorité de son temps de travail à l’ARC 2020. Il collabore avec ARC depuis 2013, date à laquelle l’Irlande a assuré la présidence de l’UE pendant six mois. C’est là qu’il a pu constater l’importance de la politique agroalimentaire et rurale grâce à sa chronique hebdomadaire sur le site d’ARC. Après six mois, il est nommé rédacteur en chef et responsable de la communication, poste qu’il occupe toujours aujourd’hui. Oliver supervise le contenu du site web et des médias sociaux, aide à définir l’orientation de l’organisation et parfois même rédige un article pour le site web.  À l’époque où on voyageait davantage, il a eu la chance de passer du temps sous les tropiques, où il a aidé des ONG irlandaises de commerce équitable – au Ghana, au Kenya, au Mali, en Inde et au Salvador – à raconter leur histoire.  Il se peut que ces jours-là reviennent. Pour son compte Oliver continuera de préférer naviguer en Europe par bateau, puis en train. Après tout, la France n’est qu’à une nuit de navigation. En attendant, il y a toujours de nombreuses possibilités de bénévolat dans la communauté dans les campagnes du centre de l’Irlande.