EU countries have failed to agree on whether to renew or ban Europe’s most used, and controversial, herbicide: glyphosate. The UK was one of 16 countries that voted in favour of renewing the licence for the sale of glyphosate in Europe, while 10 countries voted against renewal and two abstained. It is likely the European Commission will now seek to negotiate a shorter renewal period with EU countries.

Commenting, Molly, a member of the Agriculture Committee, said:

“Michael Gove’s ‘green Brexit’ has fallen at the first hurdle. There is nothing green about the use of a chemical associated with a wide range of adverse health effects in humans, farm animals and wildlife, and that has a detrimental impact on soil health and biodiversity.

“I am delighted that the European Parliament has this week voted to phase out the use of glyphosate within five years. This will give farmers time to transition to more sustainable methods of dealing with weeds and pests; something that is totally achievable. The agrichemical industry and farming organisations are just plain wrong about the need for glyphosate in agriculture. Organic farmers already use non-chemical methods which result in organic farms having 50% more abundant plant, insect and bird life.

“If Michael Gove is remotely genuine about his vision of a making the UK greener, he will put pressure on his negotiators in Europe to support a ban on this toxic chemical. A failure to do so will fuel fears that post-Brexit, the UK will weaken environmental legislation and turn the UK into the dirty man of Europe again.”

See statement on the use of glyphosate in farming in Europe

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