More than 1 million sign ‘Stop #Glyphosate’ European Citizen’s Initiative

| October 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

More than a million European citizens have called on the European Commission to propose to member states a ban on glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use.

The group want to ban glyphosate-based herbicides, exposure to which they claim is linked to cancer in humans, and has led to ecosystems degradation. The group want to ensure that the scientific evaluation of pesticides for EU regulatory approval is based only on published studies, which are commissioned by public authorities instead of by the pesticide industry. The group also want to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use, with a view to achieving a ‘pesticide-free future’.

The aim of a pesticide-free future is unrealistic. Genetically-modified crops and different farming techniques can reduce the need for pesticides, but they are unlikely to eliminate their role in improving production to meet a growing population. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognise that biotechnology in meeting the needs of the current and future generations, but organisations like Greenpeace – who support this initiative – also oppose GMOs, are resolutely opposed to biotechnology solutions.

The European Commission officially received the petition on Friday (6 October) the submission of the 4th successful European Citizens’ Initiative. A total of 1,070,865 statements of support have been received from 22 Member States so far, and have been checked and validated by national authorities.

The European Commission will now invite the organisers within the next 3 months to present their ideas in more depth. A public hearing will be arranged in the European Parliament to allow all stakeholders to present their views, and then the Commission will decide whether to act by proposing legislation, act in some other way to achieve the goals of the Initiative, or not act at all; all three options are possible under the Treaty of the European Union.

After having listened to stakeholders, the Commission will present a Communication explaining its reasoning. The European Citizens’ Initiative is aimed at giving a stronger direct voice to citizens and allowing them to contribute to shaping EU law and policy.

The Commission recently presented a proposal to modify the Citizens’ Initiative Regulation, to make the tool even more accessible to citizens and to encourage its wider use.



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Category: A Frontpage, Economy, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Politics, World

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