pesticides420x280

Two-Thirds of Europeans Support Ban on Glyphosate, Says Yougov Poll

Two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate, the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world’s history, according to a new Yougov poll.

A prohibition on the herbicide ingredient was backed by three-quarters of Italians, 70% of Germans, 60% of French and 56% of Britons, in a survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states.

Up to 150 MEPs in Strasbourg are expected to give urine samples today and tomorrow to see if they contain residues of the ingredient, ahead of a symbolic vote on prohibition this Wednesday.

April 11, 2016 | Source: The Guardian | by Arthur Neslen

Two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate, the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world’s history, according to a new Yougov poll.

A prohibition on the herbicide ingredient was backed by three-quarters of Italians, 70% of Germans, 60% of French and 56% of Britons, in a survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states.

Up to 150 MEPs in Strasbourg are expected to give urine samples today and tomorrow to see if they contain residues of the ingredient, ahead of a symbolic vote on prohibition this Wednesday.

Previous tests have found traces of the residue in the urine of people from 18 different European countries, and in over 60% of breads sold in the UK.

The Green MEP Bart Staes told the Guardian that the MEPs’ test was inspired by a recent “Urinal 2015” test which detected glyphosate in Germany’s 14 best-selling beers, stirring public unease.

Staes said: “This poll clearly shows that the European public does not want… the authorisation of glyphosate, and certainly not until June 2031.”

Glyphosate is used in best-selling pesticides made by Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta, but the herbicide has divided scientific opinion.

The World Health Organisation’s cancer scientists last year dubbed it “probably carcinogenic to humans” while the EU’s European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) declared it “unlikely” to pose a public health risk.

An ensuing row over best scientific practice and industry involvement in the legislative process ended with the European commission unable to pass a proposal to relicense the substance for another 15 years.

With 11 of the EU’s 28 states now thought unlikely to back relicensing, the new poll will add momentum to environmental opponents of the controversial chemical.

A commission source said: “We are trying to get as much consensus as possible among the member states. If there are reasonable concerns, they can be addressed. All things are on the table.”

Commission negotiators are working on compromise proposals varying from a shorter extension, to a ban on certain co-formulants which increase plant uptake of glyphosate.