Malta votes against renewal of harmful weed killer – Glyphosate
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Martin Galea De Giovanni, Director of Friends of the Earth Malta, in reaction to the failure of the European Commission and EU Member States to agree on the renewal of the herbicide glyphosate, said that, “this is yet another positive development following years of campaigning since tests carried out by Friends of the Earth Malta in 2013 showed that traces of the weed killer glyphosate were found in 9 out of 10 people tested.”
“In 2016, when there was a previous vote, Malta was the only country who voted against the renewal and it is very reassuring to note that there are now 8 other European countries backing the ban, with another 5 abstaining,” he said.
Martin Galea De Giovanni concluded by saying that “this announcement shows responsibility from the Government’s side as it chose to listen to the concerns of experts and individuals who have demanded that our fields, streets and gardens would be free from this risky weed killer.”
Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth Europe food and farming campaigner said, “overwhelming public pressure is paying off, with a clear lack of political support to extend the licence for glyphosate.”
He added that, “this weedkiller locks in reckless industrial farming, damages nature and probably causes cancer. When the final decision comes around, there’s only one responsible option – take it off the market immediately, and support farmers to help them get off the chemical treadmill.”
The proposal will now be submitted by the European Commission to the appeal committee at the end of November.
FoE Malta stated that it hopes that more European countries follow Malta’s example and ensure that European farming becomes safer and greener for the benefit of all European citizens.
The breakdown of the voting was as follows:
In favour: 14 Member States (36,95% of EU population) CZ, DK, EE, IE, ES, LV, LT, HU, NL, SV, SK, FI, SE, UK.
Against: 9 Member States (32,26% of EU population) BE, EL, FR, HR, IT, CY, LU, MT, AT.
Abstained: 5 Member States (30.79% of EU population) BG, DE, PL, PT, RO.