Activists handed the EU a petition signed by more than 1.3 million people on Monday (23 October) calling for a European ban on the weedkiller glyphosate, produced by chemicals giant Monsanto and others, over fears it causes cancer.
The Italian government insists that the re-authorisation of glyphosate, the world's most commonly used weedkiller, be rejected. However, sources told EURACTIV.com that Rome is exploring the scenario of a five-year extension for an adjustment period.
European farmers are raising the pressure on the European Commission and the member states to extend the licence of weed-killer glyphosate as there is no alternative on the market and a ban could increase overhead costs, they claim.
The European Parliament’s environment and agriculture committees are holding on Wednesday (11 October) a highly anticipated public hearing on the so-called “Monsanto papers" and glyphosate, which is expected to further heat up the debate on the controversial chemical substance.
The member states should stop hiding behind or even pointing the figure at the European Commission regarding the re-authorisation of the world’s most commonly used weedkiller, glyphosate, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis told EURACTIV.com.
As member states are due to vote on two key dossiers, maize farmers claim that EU regulation restricting access to plant protection products and plant genetics has reduced their competitiveness worldwide and that such regulation is not based on science.
The European Commission is exploring ways to bridge the gap between different member state requests regarding the re-authorisation of the world's most commonly used weedkiller, glyphosate, an EU spokesperson told EURACTIV.
French farmers have been protesting France's proposed ban on glyphosate, Europe's number one pesticide. Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot tried to engage in dialogue with them to achieve a "shared solution". EURACTIV's partner Ouest-France reports.