Of the 28 member states, 18 voted in favour of the extension, nine voted against and one abstained. At least 16 votes were required to renew glyphosate’s license. The weedkiller is best known for its use in Monsanto-brand weedkiller Roundup.
The European Union renewed its authorisation of glyphosate for five years. The science was clearer than clear – the herbicide is one of the safest substances on the market. All but one research or regulatory agency gave glyphosate an unequivocal approval (and that one, IARC, was seriously conflicted and corrupted). For 40 years farmers have relied on glyphosate (off-patent, inexpensive and effective), giving them the means now to develop sustainable farming with no-till and complex cover cropping. Glyphosate is indeed the herbicide of the century and the very thought of banning it seems absurd. So why couldn’t the European Commission renew glyphosate for 15 years as originally planned? As the science was clear, then the regulatory risk assessment process should have been simple. But it was never about the science, facts or data. It was never about the benefits to farmers, the environment and consumers. It was about something much larger.
The ecological-industrial complex in Germany wanted to use the prohibition of Glyphosate — a difficult to replace product in modern agriculture — as a lever to bring about another “Wende” (turnaround): the “Agrarwende” (‘agricultural turnaround’) would put an end to modern agriculture in Germany so that the German people would have to rely exclusively on organic food produced on German soil for the long term future. An idea as crazy as the Energiewende.