Malta calls for exit plan for controversial weedkiller

Times of Malta Philip Leone Ganado

Glyphosate is considered a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organisation cancer agency. Photo: Shutterstock

Malta and five other countries that opposed the reauthorisation of glyphosate are demanding new studies and measures “to limit the risks and prepare the exit plan” for the controversial weedkiller. In a letter to European Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans and Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, environment ministers from Malta, France, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg and Slovenia reiterated their concerns over the risks associated with glyphosate. The widely-used substance, considered a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organisation cancer agency, was approved for use in the EU for another five years in November, after months of indecisive votes. Writing to the Commission, the six environment ministers noted that a European citizen’s initiative signed by more than one million people had called for a ban and that the European Parliament appealed for a phaseout by 2022. They asked the Commission to carry out a study to identify all alternatives – chemical, mechanical or biological – to the agricultural use of glyphosate, as well as the changes necessary for these to be adopted by the farming industry. The ministers also called for fresh studies to be...

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