Molly, who sits on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, has welcomed a decision by the French government to vote against the renewal of an EU Commission license for the controversial pesticide, glyphosate. She has also challenged Environment Secretary Michael Gove to follow suit, saying that a ‘Green Brexit’ must mean a ban on a substance linked to numerous health and environmental threats. Nearly a million and a half European citizens have to date signed a petition calling for a Europe-wide ban of glyphosate.
The decision by the French government comes as fresh evidence emerges of the risk of birth defects caused by exposure to pesticides and previous studies suggesting a link between glyphosate and birth abnormalities.
Monsanto is the major supplier of products containing glyphosate, with ‘Roundup’ being the best-known product containing the toxic chemical. The product is widely used by farmers, gardeners and local authorities to control weeds. In 2015 the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Molly said:
“The decision by France to vote against the renewal of glyphosate is a major step toward a Europe-wide ban of this dangerous toxin. The opposition of France could block the qualified majority of EU member states needed to renew the licence.
“This decision comes at a time when yet more evidence emerges on the role pesticides play in birth defects, and with glyphosate being the world’s most used pesticide, and suspected carcinogen, we really must ban this chemical to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of present and future generations.
“Michael Gove has promised a ‘Green Brexit’. It is clear that this must involve the precautionary principle, and where there are threats to health from the use of toxic chemicals, we must implement a ban. This is an important test for Mr Gove. Will he follow France and announce that in post-Brexit Britain, glyphosate will be banned?”