Again problems regarding the decision on the glyphosate. Current decision use authorisation in the EU, which has already been extended by a year and a half, will expire at the end of this year. But a couple of days ago the European Commission hasn’t been able to take a decision: arrived at the table with a new proposal contrasting the request of renewing the authorisation seven or more years. “Our goal is that every decision on the matter is shared by most governments,” said commission spokesman, Margaritis Schinas. A surprising decision in contrast to the decision of the European Parliament, which, with 355 votes in favour, 204 opposed and 111 abstained, had requested a ban on domestic use and a ban on agriculture within five years.

To decision of the EC is clearly against the will of Europeans. A European petition against the use of this product has obtained over one million signatures and a research published by the International Consumer Association SumOfUs reveals that 80% of Germans, 79% of the French, 84% of Italians, 77% of the Portuguese and 81% of the Greeks are strongly opposed to the use of glyphosate and in favour of its ‘ immediate ban ‘.

The decision of the EC is only the latest in a long series of inexcusable referrals unless you think about the pressures exerted by the big world producers of cereals that make great use of this substance. The umpteenth postponement of the Commission surprises since for years now scientific studies demonstrated the danger of this substance which is the needle of the balance between those who want a cleaner and sustainable agriculture and those who, instead, want to continue to have a Intensive agriculture at the cost of people’s health. Used in many countries (including Canada) mainly before harvesting, make it possible to export agricultural products at extremely competitive prices referring to cost of producing in countries such as Italy. It doesn’t surprise that a relevant quote of the wheat coming to Italy comes from Canada. A competition that has caused enormous damage to the local economy: over the last ten years more than half of the companies that produced durum wheat have disappeared in southern Italy.

“The lobbies won ” said the MEP Piernicola pan. The risk, given the continual postponements, is that the ban will never become reality. For the EU food, feed and Plant committee, which met yesterday, the decision has not yet been taken because there is no agreement between the EU countries.

Some countries, in fact, try to conceal their decision behind the alibi of the discrepancy between the results of the scientific studies on the dangers of glyphosate. Some argue that the substance is safe (such as the National Farm Union or the British Council for plant production). Others, like the Soil Association, have for years deployed alongside the scientific current that is contrary to its use. “Considering how long the glyphosate has been used, it is absurd that the environmental impact of this substance is still unknown. These uncertainties should be taken into account in decision-making in the European Union and add weight to the demands for prohibition on the basis of the threat that glyphosate represents for human health. Our land is vulnerable and threatened, ‘ said Emma Hockridge, the political leader of the association.

The results of some of these “research” in March had burst what some have called the “Monsanto papers”, named after the multinational agricultural biotechnology, with about thousand employees and a turnover of 14.5 billion dollars: some Scientific research into the carcinogenicity of the herbicide could have been altered as a result of external pressures.

The truth is that the ‘ glyphosate case ‘ doesn’t exist: many scientists demonstrated that glyphosate acts in our food chain, causing significant damage to health. A study published in The Lancet Oncology, based on three years of coordinated research by 17 experts in 11 countries, reveals that there is a correlation between exposure to the substance and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as an increase in Childhood leukemias and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, according to the International Agency for Cancer research, this substance could be a carcinogen.

A certainty for many but apparently not for the European Commission that continuing to postpone, year after year, the decision to ban it, allows the multinationals of the grain to increase their profits. To the detriment of the health (and will) of European citizens.


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