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24.10.2017 |

Beneath the Glyphosate headlines, a crucial battle for the future of EU pesticide approvals

“A non-re-authorisation of the substance would be a disaster for the industry”, reads a note from a a March 2016 meeting between pesticide industry lobbyists from the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) and members of Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s cabinet.

The “substance” in question? Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the world's most widely-used pesticide and Monsanto's flagship product. True enough, a European Union ban on this key ingredient in many weedkillers would be a major blow to the biotech and pesticide industry, its shareholders and its future owner Bayer.

Since the World Health Organisation's International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in 2015, the decision as to whether this weedkiller deserves another license for the EU market has been closely scrutinised. In addition, lawsuits against Monsanto in the US regarding Roundup’s health effects have enabled the release of internal company documents, which show how the company ghostwrote studies signed by ‘independent’ experts and tried to underplay data indicating health damage.

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