France and a growing chorus of other EU countries are preparing to just say no to Monsanto and its toxic herbicide Roundup in a way that could make a real dent in the agrichem corporation’s bottom line.
A recent vote set to determine whether the EU would re-approve the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, on crops throughout the union has been postponed. The move is seen by opponents of Monsanto as a victory of sorts in a long, hard war, as it introduces the real possibility that the current approval will expire in June of this year.
And with countries like Bulgaria, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Italy reportedly also on board with the plan to vote against re-approval, the corporate poison king is facing long odds.
The postponed vote, which would have re-approved the use of glyphosate through 2031 leaves Monsanto and Roundup in a legal gray area, where it is lawful for the moment, but the future is uncertain.
There are other hopeful developments on the pesticide front in Europe as well. Europe’s health and food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has indicated he is looking into the possibility of “full transparency” for industry studies on pesticide. Currently industry studies submitted in order to gain approval of regulatory authorizations are kept confidential under agreements with regulators.
Another great trend in Europe is public mobilization against glyphosate. Nearly 1.5 million people have signed a petition asking Andriukaitis to ban the chemical.
After the Dutch parliament voted against approving the renewal of the glyphosate permit, the Netherlands called for a postponement of the vote, with an agricultural ministry spokesman stating that if the vote were to go ahead, the Dutch would be voting against it.
Sweden also jumped into the mix, with environment minister Åsa Romson, saying: “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 [European Food Safety Authority] scientists have been more transparent about their considerations.”
All in all it was a very good week for food safety in Europe. The tide turning against Monsanto other purveyors of poison and GMO madness is evidence that putting the facts before the people will mobilize them to effect change, even if their leaders have to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing.
It’s an example we would all do well to follow.