Today, June 6, the EU Standing Committee on Plant, Animal, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee) voted on the Commission’s proposal to extend authorization of glyphosate for another 18 months. For the third time, Member States did not reach a qualified majority on the renewal of this pesticide.
Without a majority decision, the EU executive may submit its proposal to an appeal committee of political representatives of the 28 member states for a vote set to take place around June 20. If no majority is reached in the Appeal Committee, the Commission will have two options: make the decision to renew glyphosate without member country support, or do nothing and let the authorization expire on June 30.
Ursula Hudson, Slow Food Executive Committee and President of Slow Food Germany: “This lack of agreement between Member States and even within some national governments is a clear sign that a deeper reflection on this active substance is necessary. The Commission should now not rush to conclusions and take a decision without the support of Member States and against the will of two thirds of Europeans. The issue of glyphosate goes well beyond the risk to our health: the decision on whether to renew glyphosate or not also determines the kind of food production and farming the institutions support in Europe.
While some argue that the renewal of glyphosate should be a decision solely based on hard scientific data – at the moment still not entirely available – Slow Food argues that it is also a very political decision: food concerns us all.”
In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report, which classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. New evidence has documented the widespread presence of glyphosate in our food and our bodies following years of application.
In November 2015, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) – on the basis of reports prepared by the industry – arrived at the opposite conclusion. It stated that glyphosate poses “no carcinogenic hazard for humans” or any other health hazard, paving the way for renewal when the current authorization expires this June.
On March 8 2016, the EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed postponed a decision when Italy joined France, the Netherlands and Sweden in opposing a new 15-year license for glyphosate.
On April 13, 2016, the European Parliament called for a ban on all private uses of glyphosate, as well as spraying around public parks and playgrounds. It also opposed glyphosate spraying before harvesting, and called for the immediate disclosure of all scientific evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority to back up its claim that glyphosate is unlikely to cause harm.
On May 19, 2016, the EU Commission did not call for a vote on the renewal of glyphosate in the Standing Committee, as it became clear that there was not enough support from member countries to pass the measure.
For more information, please contact Slow Food International Press Office:
[email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress
Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]
Ester Clementino, [email protected]
Giulia Capaldi, [email protected]
Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.