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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Ban 'safe' pesticide linked to cancer and liver disease, says campaign group
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Ban 'safe' pesticide linked to cancer and liver disease, says campaign group image

Up to 30 per cent of mass-produced bread contains glyphosate, the 'safe' weedkiller that has been linked to cancer and liver disease—and now a major initiative is calling for the complete ban of the pesticide across the European Union.

The European Citizens' Initiative is calling on the European Commission to ban the pesticide, reform the whole pesticide approval process—and what is seen as the cosy relationship between the chemicals industry and farming—and set mandatory limits on the use of all pesticides.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller and pesticide that is used extensively on farms, in parks and public spaces—and, when it was approved, regulators said it wasn't a threat to human health. But the World Health Organization (WHO) has since designated it a probable carcinogen, and recent research has discovered that even minuscule doses can cause fatty liver disease. Tests by the UK government have discovered the pesticide in up to 30 per cent of the commercially-produced breads they tested.

The UK's Soil Association, which is supporting the campaign, says it wants "this dangerous, unnecessary and indefensible pre-harvest use of glyphosate banned now, along with its use in parks, near schools and in other public places."

It points out that thousands of organic farmers have demonstrated that crops can be grown successfully without using the pesticide. One is Guy Watson, who runs the Riverford Farm—and vegetable delivery service—in Devon. He says he is frustrated by the "outrageous distortion of evidence put forward by the unholy alliance of the NFU (National Farmers' Union) and pesticide manufacturers."

You can support the European Citizens' Initiative here: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/eci-glyphosate-int. The campaign closes next January.


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