EU to Decide on “Probably Carcinogenic” Glyphosate Relicensing—Global Justice Now Comment

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EU to Decide on “Probably Carcinogenic” Glyphosate Relicensing—Global Justice Now Comment

EU pesticides committee to meet this week to make glyphosate decision

Activists relabeling Monsanto weed killer with fake labels in garden centres across the UK

The EU pesticides committee is meeting on 18/19 May and is expected to make a final decision on whether or not to relicense glyphosate, a chemical that is found in numerous over-the-counter weed killers. In 2015 the WHO released research that showed the chemical was “probably carcinogenic.”

Aisha Dodwell, a food campaigner with Global Justice Now said:

“The decision on glyphosate is a critical test of who’s interests the EU is acting on. On one side, there are powerful agribusiness companies like Monsanto, whose Roundup weed killer contains glyphosate and accounts for a third of its total sales. And on the other side you have over a million citizens from across the EU who have signed petitions saying that they don’t want to be exposed to chemicals that are probably causing cancer.

“It’s not surprising that people have such a dim view of the EU when it seems to be seriously considering putting corporate profits ahead of the health and wellbeing of ordinary people.”

In early May pressure group Global Justice Now, which has a long-standing campaign against the corporate control of food systems, sent over 500 ‘Monsanto Exposed’ brandalism packs to activists across the country. The packs contained labels that have been designed using the distinctive branding of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.  The spoof labels warn that the product is classified as ‘probably causing cancer’ and that Monsanto’s corporate control of agriculture ‘degrades farmers’ power’. Activist groups are being encouraged to wrap the labels around bottles of Roundup in garden centres across the country and share images on social media with the hashtag #MonsantoExposed.

Print quality photos of relabelled Monsanto bottles can be found on flickr.


  • In March 2015, the WHO classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic.’
  • In March 2016, a panel of experts were supposed to decide whether or not the EU should relicense the chemical, currently set to expire in June 2016. But widespread opposition, including France, Italy and Sweden and almost a million and half people signing a petition against relicensing, meant that the decision was delayed until 18/19 May.
  • In the interim the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution in April which recommended putting strict limitations on the sale and use of glyphosate.

Global Justice Now is a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world. We mobilise people in the UK for change, and act in solidarity with those fighting injustice, particularly in the global south.

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