Two-thirds Europeans Support Ban on Glyphosate
April 12, 2016
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Two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate the most-widely used agricultural chemical in the world. A prohibition was backed by three quarters of Italians, 70% of Germans, 60% of French, and 56% of Britons, in a YouGov survey in April 2016, of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states.
MEPs in Strasbourg are volunteering to give urine samples to see if they contain residues of glyphosate. The Green group in the European Parliament took the initiative of inviting colleague MEPs to have their urine tested. A cross-party group of 48 MEPs from 13 member states took part, and the results show: “All participants excreted glyphosate by urine. On average, the MEPs had 1.7 micrograms/litre of glyphosate in their urine, 17 times higher than the European drinking water norm (0.1 microgram/litre).
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. 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.
“In the EU, the precautionary principle applies and as long as risk to human life cannot be ruled out, there must be no approval for such a strong plant poison,” said Jörg Rohwedder of WeMove.EU, one of the group’s which commissioned the YouGov poll.
Dr Richard Garnett, head of Monsanto Europe’s global crop protection regulatory affairs unit countered: “We are seriously concerned that the anxiety that is being generated in the public mind by the questioning of the scientific findings of studies … is undermining the whole basis for the evaluation of plant protection products.”
Some 9.4 million tons of glyphosate have been applied to crops since 1974, enough to spray half a pound of RoundUp onto every cultivated acre of land on the planet.