Greens are calling for a rapid move towards chemical free farming in a new report launched this week. The ‘Alternatives to Glyphosate’ report by Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN) refutes claims by the chemical industry and many farming organisations that glyphosate, a suspected carcinogen, is a necessary tool for modern day agriculture. The report lays out in detail why the agrichemical lobby is wrong about the need for glyphosate and other chemicals in farming and the alternative weed and pest control methods available.
The report comes a week ahead of a crucial vote by EU ministers on whether to impose a Europe-wide ban on glyphosate or renew its licence, and as a new scientific study reports on the catastrophic decline in flying insects.
Molly, who sits on the Agriculture Committee in the European Parliament and supports a ban on glyphosate, said
“The pesticides industry claim that a ban on glyphosate will be catastrophic for the EU farming sector because there are no alternatives. This new report from the Greens refutes this and will contribute to the growing body of evidence that says we can have a future without this and other dangerous toxins.
“Cutting out harmful chemicals in farming will increase biodiversity, improve the health of our soil, and safeguard human and animal health. The dramatic reduction in insects is but one result of our industrialised methods of farming, in which chemicals play a key role. We have reached the point that a failure to ban glyphosate and other dangerous chemicals will lead us to environmental Armageddon.
“We don’t have to smother our food in toxins; a wide range of alternative approaches to tackling weeds exist and are being successfully used across Europe. We need to support farmers who are turning to chemical-free methods by offering adequate financial support and incentives, training and information sharing mechanisms.
“If Michael Gove’s green Brexit means anything it has to mean supporting a ban on glyphosate and funding moves towards chemical free agriculture.”
The vote on the renewal of the glyphosate ban will take place on the 25th of October in the European Commission. Molly Scott Cato has set up a petition with other MEPs to put pressure on member states to vote against the renewal of glyphosate. The petition has already received over 75,000 signatures. A European Citizen’s initiative (stopglyphosate.org) calling for a ban on the herbicide reached more than a million signatures in less than a year and will trigger a public hearing in the European Parliament in November.