(repost from Organic Consumers Association)
The European Commission has again hit a wall in renewing the approval for the weedkiller glyphosate. The vote comes after 18 months of agonizing over the controversial herbicide. The European Union on Thursday voted on whether to prolong the use of the common but controversial herbicide glyphosate within its borders, but failed to reach a consensus.
The proposal to renew the EU license for glyphosate for another five years failed to a reach a qualified majority, meaning a decision has again been postponed, according to lawmakers. The current license is due to expire on December 15, but there is an 18 month grace period.
Fourteen countries voted in favor of the renewal, nine against, while five, including Germany, abstained from voting. The proposal could now be referred to an appeal committee, or alternatively the Commission could draw up a new proposal to be voted upon.
"No qualified majority for glyphosate renewal in vote today," said Luxembourg's Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg on Twitter. Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme confirmed the result. A qualified majority requires two conditions be met: that 55 percent of EU countries vote in favor, and that the proposal is supported by countries representing at least 65 percent of the total EU population.
Taking Action: Oppose the Monsanto-Bayer Merger
Beyond Pesticides: In late 2016, Monsanto and Bayer announced a $66 billion merger. The Department of Justice is in the midst of reviewing it, and a decision is expected in late 2017. Should this merger go through, only four companies in the world will control all seed and agricultural chemical business: Bayer-Monsanto, Dow-DuPont, ChemChina-Syngenta, and BASF. What does this mean for farmers and consumers?
Pesticide Action Network reports "Monsanto is already the largest seed corporation in the world. And it’s the fifth largest pesticide company, manufacturing hazardous chemicals to accompany its genetically engineered seed lines. Bayer comes in as the second largest pesticide corporation, with widely used bee-harming neonics a key part of its portfolio, and the ranks seventh in the seed market. A merger between these already-monolithic corporations raises serious antitrust concerns, including increased costs and reduced choices for farmers. And in farming states like Iowa, where one in five jobs is connected to agriculture, higher seed prices and increased pesticide resistance would be catastrophic."
Visit these letter writing campaigns here and here to let the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission know how you feel about this proposed merger.