The long awaited vote on the authorisation of glyphosate for another term has been cast amongst EU member states and was inconclusive. On the 9th of November, 14 EU member states voted in favour or renewing the authorisation including UK, however, 9 voted against and 5 abstained. Discussions must continue to reach a decision by December 2017
Glyphosate is a commonly used weedkiller but has been found to be highly persistent and its residues found in over half of Europe’s topsoil and several times the legal limit in drinking water.
Concerns about the dangers of glyphosate to human health has been around for many years. There have long been concerns that glyphosate is a hormone disrupter which can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. If this is the case, as some scientists argue, there is no safe lower level for human consumption.
Conversely, the chemical companies and the food industry claim the level of glyphosate in food poses no danger to the consumer. But recent World Health Organisation (WHO) findings and the chemical cocktail often found in bread sold in the UK bring this into serious question. The amount of glyphosate in bread may sit well below the level deemed unsafe by the EU, but this level has not been re-examined since the WHO’s ‘probable carcinogen’ ruling.
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