A piece of somewhat better news. Version 3.0.

Third time this year EU decisions regarding pesticides provide a positive surprise – after initial shock of appearing completely ignorant. I have written already two posts with similar name (find the posts here and here).

This time it is about glyphosate. We all know that International Agency for Research on Cancer has found it to be a probable carcinogen. EU official process however dismissed these findings and the Commission was proposing to allow use of this chemical for another ten years. Everyone who cares for environment was upset.

The Parliament’s COMENVI thus decided to block this move. The Parliament has no legal power to veto an implementing act but passing a resolution against it carries a significant political message. All the major European environmental NGOs did their best to secure this outcome. People wrote, phoned, tweeted and used all possible means to reach out to the MEPs. I did my small bit as well and am as happy as the rest of the environmental camp that the vote supported the resolution.

Next day the Commission carried out the vote on renewal of licence to use glyphosate for ten years in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. The vote was close: the Commission actually had a simple majority. Regrettably also Estonia supported the Commission in spite of all our efforts. However, in order to have the decision passed the qualified majority was needed and since Belgium, Greece, Croatia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden voted against, and Germany and Portugal abstained this was not achieved. Without the qualified majority and with the Parliamentary resolution in place the unilateral renewal of the licence has become highly unlikely. The Commission will most probably now have to work on the licence  again, and this time secure better protection for our health and environment – a small battle won.

The environmental NGOs can sigh a relief. The small victory however is only about one agrochemical. In order to seriously deal with risks to our health and environment caused by the pesticides we need a radical reform of the CAP.  

Post author: Aleksei Lotman, ELF


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