On March 7 and 8, 2016, the EU Standing Committee on Plant, Animal, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee) re-evaluated the authorization of glyphosate – the world’s most widely used herbicide – for another fifteen years.
Slow Food asked European governments to reject the re-approval of glyphosate on March 7 and take a stand to protect human health and the environment.
Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food International says: “There’s no room for compromise. 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 human urine of consumers.
Ursula Hudson, President of Slow Food Germany, comments: “The European Commission is obliged to consider all the findings and studies evaluating glyphosate. The fact that theInternational 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 twenty applicants including Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto Europe and Syngenta.
Shane Holland, Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK: “Slow Food in the UK has long campaigned against glyphosate. We have a window of hope, in that this 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: “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 different actions at European and national level to raise awareness on the risks of glyphosate, in collaboration with European public health and environmental NGOs.