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Europe forced to wait for citizens’ initiative on glyphosate

“No extending of glyphosate license until citizens’ initiative is fully considered”

The Party for the Animals demands that the European Commission does not extend the European license for herbicide glyphosate until the recently officially registered European citizens’ initiative ‘Ban Glyphosate’ has been fully considered. MEP Anja Hazekamp wants the European Commission’s guarantee that the initiative will be taken into serious account with regard to their decision on the glyphosate license.

“Many citizens have lost all faith in the European Union. Brussels cannot afford to ignore citizens’ initiatives,” according to MEP Anja Hazekamp.

The current EU glyphosate license grant will expire at the start of 2018, coinciding with the end date of the citizens’ initiative ‘Ban Glyphosate’, which was officially launched on 25 January. The proposers of the initiative have 12 months to collect one million signatures. If they succeed, the European Commission will be forced to organise a hearing and give a fully reasoned response to the request to ban glyphosate. “It would be disrespectful and undemocratic if a decision on the glyphosate license is already reached at the time of the hearing,” says Hazekamp.

The section of the World Health Organisation that specialises in cancer research, IARC, has classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. In addition, there are indications that glyphosate is an endocrine disrupter. Nevertheless, in June 2016 the European Commission decided to extend the EU license for glyphosate by 18 months. Initially, the Commission even planned on extending it for 15 years, but this was avoided due to protests from several EU countries and MEPs.

The Party for the Animals has objected to continued placing on the market of glyphosate in both the Lower House and European Parliament.

Glyphosate is an agricultural toxin, its main ingredient Roundup. Roundup is used by many farmers, governments and individuals as a herbicide, and as a result of this mass use, a lot of people and animals come into contact with the toxin. A 2013 research showed that 63% of the Dutch population had traces of glyphosate in their urine.