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◊ By Karin Heinze; Photos © Karin Heinz

It’s hard to believe! Germany voted yes for a five-year renewal for the weedkiller glyphosate–this ensured the qualified majority for the approval. While massive protests took place, some of the member states disregarded the citizens’ requirements. Till now Germany always abstained because the Agriculture Ministry was pro renewal while the Environmental Ministry was opposed.

At the meeting at the Appeal Committee, which consists of experts from the EU member states and the European Commission, Germany swung the balance. The EU member states reached a qualified majority for the re-authorisation of the world’s most commonly used weed killer, glyphosate. According to the Commission, a qualified majority of member states voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal for a five-year reapproval (18 in favour, nine against and one abstention), informed. Germany voted in favour of re-approval, having previously abstained. Eighteen member states voted in favour, including Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania, which previously abstained, while nine member states voted against and Portugal abstained.

“The vote shows that when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making,” Health Commissioner Andriukaitis said.

While massive protests took place across Europe, some of the member states disregarded the citizens’ requirements

While massive protests took place across Europe, some of the member states disregarded the citizens’ requirements


Martin Häusling, agricultural spokesman for the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, comments: “The decision in favour of the controversial total herbicide glyphosate, which is suspected of causing cancer, has caused Europe to suffer the desolate state of government formation in Germany. The shift from abstention to agreement on this question gives us a foretaste of the future balance of power in Berlin. The behaviour of Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt (CSU) is instinctless and scandalous. Glyphosate, which should be clear to all those involved, is suspected of causing cancer, decimates biodiversity and has nothing to do in the fields. It is considered a completely outdated agent. But neither the EU Commission nor the CSU minister and his boss Angela Merkel take care of that.

They have surreptitiously surrendered to the pressure of lobbying instead of remembering the precautionary principle that prevails in Europe and placing consumer protection first in political dealings. This policy is shown the red card.”


The author is editor of (German) and (English), online magazines for organic trade


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