On March 7 and 8, the EU Standing Committee on Plant, Animal, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee) will re-evaluate the authorization of glyphosate – the world’s most widely used herbicide – for another 15 years. Slow Food is asking European governments to reject the re-approval of glyphosate on March 7 and take a stand to protect human health and the environment.
“There’s no room for compromise,” said Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food International. “We have to decide whether the future of food is to be in the hands of the chemical industry with its promises to feed the planet—which, judging from the hundreds of thousands of tons of glyphosate sold every year, is a guise for evident economic interests—or of a policy that has the health of consumers and environmental welfare at heart.”
The use of glyphosate is increasing globally and a fierce debate is raging on the harmlessness or otherwise of the world’s bestselling weed-killer, traces of which have been detected in fruit and vegetables, in cereal-based products, GM corn and soybeans used as animal feed, beer samples and even organic products. Residues of this dangerous pesticide were also detected in the urine of consumers.
“The European Commission is obliged to consider all the findings and studies evaluating glyphosate,” said Ursula Hudson, President of Slow Food Germany. “The fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classifies glyphosate as probably carcinogenic would actually need to be followed by a moratorium on this herbicide. Still, it looks as though the responsible authorities bowed to lobby pressures of the chemical industry.” The request for reauthorization of glyphosate was submitted by the European Glyphosate Task Force, a consortium of about 20 applicants including Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto Europe and Syngenta.
“Slow Food in the UK has long campaigned against glyphosate,” said Shane Holland, Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK. “We have a window of hope, in that on Monday the EU will consider whether to cease this poisonous chemical, or whether to allow it for another 15 years. Citizens across Europe can unite and have their voice heard; for we can be assured the voices of the chemical company lobbyists will be loud.”
Gaetano Pascale, President of Slow Food Italy also commented: “Scientific studies have recently sought to expose the toxicity of glyphosate. Today the battle is between those calling for a return to a cleaner agriculture and the multinational chemical manufacturers. Slow Food Italy urges caution, to protect citizens and consumers. The European Commission seems to hide behind a scarcity of data about the risks of glyphosate. And yet it is precisely this lack of scientific certainty that should prompt the Commission to deny authorization for its commercial use.”
Slow Food recently signed the petition Stop Glyphosate promoted by We Move and is taking several actions at European and national level to raise awareness on the risks of glyphosate, in collaboration with European public health and environmental NGOs.
To sign the petition on glyphosate: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/stop-glyphosate
To read what Slow Food has already published on the subject:
This year Pesticide Action Week will be held from March 20 to 30 and will be focusing on the impact of pesticides on human health and the need to find alternative solutions, so that agriculture can be kinder to the environment and less risky to our health.