Glyphosate relicensing backward step for health and environment

28th November 2017
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Government must help farmers move away from controversial chemical

Reacting to today’s decision by European governments to reapprove the controversial pesticide glyphosate for a further five years, Friends of the Earth food and farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow said:

“Relicensing glyphosate for five years, with no restrictions, is a backward step for our health and environment, and disincentivises urgently needed research into alternatives.

“Whilst glyphosate has been given a stay of execution, governments must use the next five years to support farmers in the transition away from this herbicide. Helping them to farm differently and researching less damaging ways of tackling persistent weeds and pests, whilst building soil health, must be a top priority.

“Post-Brexit the UK government should back tougher action on other damaging chemicals, such as bee-harming neonicotinoids. This should form part of a post-Brexit plan for farming that builds a diverse, resilient system – supporting flourishing wildlife, sustainable healthy diets and thriving farmer livelihoods.”

Concern remains over the safety of glyphosate – the world’s most over-used herbicide. Two years ago the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as a probable human carcinogen. And worldwide, the evidence of damaging impacts for wildlife, soils and water continues to mount.

ENDS