FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ludicrous European Parliament Vote on Glyphosate

by

The European Parliament vote has seemingly recognised the risk to the health of transient bystanders and non-professional users of pesticides, but left at risk from exposure and adverse impacts the group with one of the highest levels of exposure, which is rural residents living in the locality of sprayed crop fields.

Agricultural use is by far and away the largest sector not only here in the UK but also across Europe regarding the use of glyphosate.

There are many millions of rural residents across the EU (including babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly, people already ill and/or disabled) who have no protection at all from exposure to this (or indeed any other) pesticide that is often sprayed in the locality of residents’ homes and gardens.

Although Roundup is probably the most well-known glyphosate product there are in fact 431 products currently approved for use in the UK containing glyphosate, the majority of which are for use on farm crops.

The latest Government statistics on pesticide usage show that in 2013 the total area treated with glyphosate on all crops in Great Britain was 1,743,735 hectares, with the total weight applied being 1,471,997 kg.

The original text of the resolution that the European Parliament was voting on last week had already recognised that “76 % of the use of glyphosate worldwide is in agriculture” and that “the general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas.”

Despite this rural residents will be rather perplexed to know that although MEPs voted not to approve glyphosate for various non-agricultural and non-professional uses, as well as for no approval in or close to public parks, playgrounds and public gardens, re-approval has seemingly been supported by MEPs for the agricultural use of glyphosate in the locality of residents’ own homes and gardens.

It is absurd for all those concerned about the health risks and harm of glyphosate to argue for non-approval of glyphosate in the non-agricultural sector to protect the health of what are effectively short term bystanders and yet for rural residents who are one of the highest exposure groups (far higher than for bystanders!) compromise amendments were tabled and adopted that have resulted in MEPs support of the re-approval of glyphosate on crop fields in the locality of residents’ own homes.

So called IPM (Integrated Pest Managment) referred to in one of the adopted compromise amendments is a red herring and will change nothing significant as it is system that still uses pesticides to some degree whichever definition one goes by.

If the health risks and harm of glyphosate is recognised for some lesser exposure groups it is ridiculous to then not recognise it for one of the highest exposure groups which is rural residents living in the locality of sprayed fields.

If glyphosate re-approval is refused for certain uses because of the risks to human health then it should be in relation to the use of glyphosate full stop!

No doubt many so called environmental NGOs will hail the European Parliament vote as a “victory“ but it certainly isn’t for rural residents, nor regarding the biggest sector for glyphosate use which is agriculture!

Georgina Downs is a journalist and campaigner. She has lived next to regularly sprayed crop fields in the UK for more than 30 years and runs the UK Pesticides Campaign

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Minute Musings: On Why the United States Should Launch a Tomahawk Strike on Puerto Rico
Tom Clifford
The Return of “Mein Kampf” … in Japan
Todd Larsen
Concerned About Climate Change? Change Where You Bank!
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Brexit: Britain’s Opening to China?
John Hutchison
Everything Old is New Again: a Brief Retrospectus on Korea and the Cold War
Michael Brenner
The Ghost in the Dream Machine
Yves Engler
The Military Occupation of Haiti
Christopher Brauchli
Guardians of Lies
James Preece
How Labour Can Win the Snap Elections
Cesar Chelala
Preventing Disabilities in the Elderly
Sam Gordon
From We Shall Overcome to Where Have all the Flowers Gone?
Charles Thomson
It’s Still Not Too Late to Deserve Your CBE, Chris Ofili
Louis Proyect
Documentaries That Punch
Charles R. Larson
Review: Vivek Shanbhag’s “Ghachar Ghochar”
David Yearsley
Raiding the Tomb of Lubitsch
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail