A new European Citizens' Initiative is calling for the European Commission to ban glyphosate, strengthen the pesticide approval procedure, and set mandatory reduction targets for the use of toxic pesticides. Glyphosate is a total weedkiller, killing any plant it comes into contact with. The WHO’s experts have recently found it is probably carcinogenic, and new UK research found miniscule doses can cause fatty liver disease in rats.
Our ground-breaking ‘Not In My Bread’ campaign has highlighted the increasing use of glyphosate on wheat and other food crops just before they are harvested. UK Government tests find glyphosate in 15-30% of bread tested. At the Soil Association, we want this dangerous, unnecessary and indefensible pre-harvest use of glyphosate banned now, along with the use of glyphosate in parks, near schools and in other public places.
While the European Citizens’ Initiative is broader than our campaign, we strongly support its call for regulatory reform and therefore back the petition. Thousands of organic farmers show it is possible to farm without glyphosate. We work on the ground with them and others to develop better alternatives to uses such as minimum tillage, where non-organic farmers currently rely on glyphosate.