The EU vote on the renewal of the glyphosate for five years


by Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The countries of the european Union have voted narrowly Monday in favor of the renewal for five years of the approval of glyphosate, a key component of the Roundup herbicide of Monsanto (NYSE:MY), against the advice of France.

Shortly after, Emmanuel Macron said that this product to effects controversial on health would be in spite of everything not allowed in the country within three years, the duration that advocated by Paris.

Eighteen countries voted in favour of a renewal of five years, nine voted against and one abstained, according to the calculation of the Commission.

Four member States which abstained in a previous consultation held on the 9th of November, including Germany, have forced the election by securing this time to the proposal from the Commission.

Concerns over glyphosate have resulted in the opening of investigations in the United States and triggered a debate of experts in Europe after contradictory conclusions on possible carcinogenic effects.

Used by the farmers for over forty years, this substance accounts for 25% of the world market of herbicides.

“I have asked the government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the use of glyphosate to be banned in France as soon as alternatives have been found, and at the latest within 3 years,” responded Emmanuel Macron via Twitter.

The prospect of a ban in the short term raises the fear of a large part of the farmers in the “conventional”, who say they do not have for the moment a viable alternative.

“I do not underestimate the difficulty in some of the agricultural practices of glyphosate,” said the French minister of the ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, on RTL. “But three years from now, it seems to me to be a reasonable timeline for reconciling all points of view.”


“Let’s not be naive, behind it all, there was still a weight to the influence of lobbies on all these topics in Europe,” added the ex-environmental activist.

To the French minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert, who is speaking to the press, it is necessary “to enter the technical institutes, to mobilize research and innovation to find and work for change and agronomic practices out of the use of glyphosate”.

Christiane Lambert, president of the national Federation of trade unions of agricultural operators (FNSEA), has upset on Twitter of the position of the Elysée palace. “When you love Europe as Emmanuel Macron, we agree with the principles and decisions even when they do not suit us,” she wrote.

In a press release, the powerful agricultural union French says : “We will fight for that no farmer is to be found in a dead-end technique”.

The result of the vote in Brussels has triggered the ire of figures in political ecology, and associations for the defence of the environment, such as Greenpeace.

“We continue as if nothing was the matter with a system that goes straight into the wall, ( … ). There is a real lack of political vision at the european scale agriculture”, one can read in a press release of the NGO.

Interviewed by BFM TV, the mep Yannick Jadot, for its part, called to “expel all these conflicts of interest that grangrènent our methods of assessment in our country, as well as european level”.

On 9 November, the european Commission’s proposal had not reached the necessary qualified majority, 16 States representing 65% of the EU population.

Only fourteen States had voted for the five-year extension. Of the 18 countries which voted on Monday for the renewal represent 65.7 per cent of the population of the Union.

The european commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomed that the EU has managed to agree on this folder.

“The vote today shows that when we want to, we can share and accept our collective responsibility in decision-making”, he wrote on Twitter.

(With Arthur Connan, Elizabeth Pineau, Sybille de la Hamaide and Simon Carraud in Paris, Eric Faye and Guy Kerivel and Gilles Trequesser for French service, edited by Sophie Louet)

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