Monsanto’s lobby convinced the European Council to ignore the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Parliament and renew the license for the weed killer Roundup.
The current license expires December 15.
Of the EU 28, 18 states voted in favour, nine against, and one abstained. The European Commission hailed the decision as broadly supported while “ensuring a high-level of protection of human health.” Originally, the European Commission intended to renew Monsanto’s license for a decade.
The S&D’s vice-president for sustainability Kathleen Van Brempt called “disgraceful” the European Council’s decision to ignore the European Parliament.
Glyphosate is a herbicide used to kill broadleaf plants and grasses since 1974. According to a 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) study the agent has carcinogenic potential as it affects the human endocrinal system. The European Council and the European Commission relied on scientific evidence presented by researchers paid by Monsanto instead, DW reported on Monday.
This decision is also a major victory for the German chemical industry. Although the European Commission is temporarily blocking the takeover of Monsanto by Germany’s Bayer, the merger will be fought tooth and nail by the pharmaceuticals behemoth.
Germany along with the UK championed the renewal of the license on Monday. Germany’s role in the renewal of the glyphosate license could threaten the negotiations for the formation of a government in Berlin, DW reported on Monday.
The Social Democrat Minister of Environment, Barbara Hendricks, suggested that she was ignored by the government in this decision.
Responding to the news, the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, recalled that the European Council ignored a civic society petition against glyphosate signed by 1,5 million people.
“This again confirms the profound influence agrichemical corporates have over our public institutions and policymakers. Governments have cracked under the intimidating pressure of Monsanto and others,” the English MEP said.