Slow Food calls on Member States of the European Union to follow the examples of Austria and Germany, which took firm decisions to ban glyphosate. It has been two years since the European Commission renewed the authorization for glyphosate valid until December 2022. The decision to renew the 5-year authorization was made despite the European Parliament 2017’s vote for a full ban of this chemical classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the cancer research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). The growing wave of citizens’ concern over the use of glyphosate and other plant protection products constitutes an ideal moment to refuse the renewal of the glyphosate authorization in 2022 and push the EU to completely ban this chemical.
If controlling access to food means controlling the destiny of humanity, from today the most powerful player worldwide is not a government or a coalition of States, but a single multinational corporation, Bayer, after acquiring the infamous Monsanto. In fact, until yesterday, Bayer was a German pharmaceutical chemical giant. As of today, it is also the world’s largest group in the field of seeds, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.
Europe isn’t only calls for austerity and budget restrictions, and sometimes it’s prepared to show it. Last week, in fact, the European Parliament approved the composition of a special enquiry commission to look into authorization procedures for pesticides. Though the battle over renewal has been lost—at least for the moment—a civil awareness is growing around glyphosate and agrochemicals in general that politics can no longer afford to ignore.
On October 25th the European Commission will announce its decision on the renewal of the use of glyphosate for the next ten years. It will be a critical decision: to ban the world’s most used weedkiller would be tantamount to a transformation of the agricultural sector, a civilized choice that would herald the dawn of a new era.