Glyphosate is a herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. It is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. Glyphosate stops a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid pathway. The shikimic acid pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms.
In 2017 the European Parliament called for Glyphosate to be completely banned in the EU by 15 December 2022, whilst at the same time the European Commission proposed to renew the controversial herbicide licence for 10 years. In the same year, some 1.3 million European citizens signed a petition calling for a ban on glyphosate.
However, this week EU Commission officials confirmed that, after the EU’s food safety agency EFSA had found no critical areas of concern in a July assessment, it would recommend an extension of the substance’s authorisation in the bloc for 10 years.
“The European Commission is putting the health of millions of EU citizens at risk for another ten years. The renewed and longer approval of glyphosate is in stark contrast to the EU precautionary principle, which is intended to protect consumers.
“While victims of the toxic substance in the USA are successfully suing Bayer Monsanto, Europe is threatening to put corporate interests above the health of people and nature. The World Health Organization also suspects glyphosate of being carcinogenic, but the European Commission seems to ignore these studies and concerns.
“The European Commission must not put corporate interests above the well-being of millions of Europeans. The Commission’s proposal to extend the use of glyphosate is an attack on the Nature Restoration Law. The available studies are clear: the poisoning of the environment, the subsequent extinction of species, and the illnesses of millions of people are evident.” – Jutta Paulus, pharmacist and chemical policy expert for the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament.