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E.U. Extends Glyphosate Use for Five Years
Legislation Barely Passes with a Majority Vote

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Twenty-eight nations constitute the European Union and a majority vote is needed for most legislation to pass.


On Monday, November 27th, 2017, the E.U. voted in favor of continuing its sale and use of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Round-up weed killer, for an additional five years. The verdict took 18 months of debate and a decisive 18 to 9 vote authorized the usage of glyphosate for all countries in the European Union. Germany's decision on the matter played an essential role in the verdict, as it permitted obtaining a majority vote and allowed the legislation to pass.

This vote comes just months after a petition with over 1.3 million signatures was given to the E.U. calling for a complete ban of glyphosate and more transparent scientific practices in the future. Although the petition was the largest in history, it ultimately failed to garner the support needed to persuade lawmakers to completely ban the chemical. Subsequently, the dismissal of this petition resulted in protests across Europe, more specifically in France and Belgium, as they were two of the countries that voted against the use of the glyphosate. Portugal was the only country to abstain from the vote.

With so much debate on both sides, it is no surprise that glyphosate has become a hot-button issue. In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the chemical as "probably carcinogenic to humans." Although, despite this classification, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) lists on their website that the toxicity level of glyphosate is "Conclusive but not sufficient for classification." This is where the problem stems, as many studies on the use of glyphosate conflict with one another; because as of right now, there is no irrefutable evidence that the substance is harmful to people. For instance, studies have been conducted that show trace amounts of glyphosate in bovine and human urine, however other experiments have disproven that there is a definitive link between the chemical and cancer.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months how lawmakers and the general public respond to this new legislation, and if there will ever be a definite answer to whether or not glyphosate is harmful.

For more information about glyphosate and the proponents for and against its use, visit: http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article-a.php?number=29697.







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December 13, 2017, 8:13 pm PST

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Last Updated 12-11-17
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