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Protesters hold balloons on January 20, 2018 in Berlin during a demonstration under the slogan "We are fed up" against agricultural politics and the use of glyphosate, dumping exports and for sustainable agriculture.

Protesters hold balloons on January 20, 2018 in Berlin during a demonstration under the slogan "We are fed up" against agricultural politics and the use of glyphosate, dumping exports and for sustainable agriculture. (Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)

Because 'A World Without Insects Is Not Worth Living In,' Germany Announces Plan to Ban Glyphosate

"What we need is more humming and buzzing."

Andrea Germanos

The German government announced Wednesday it had agreed on a plan to phase out the use of glyphosate—the key chemical in the weedkiller Roundup—with a total ban set to begin by the end of 2023.

"Way to go, Germany!" tweeted the U.S.-based advocacy group Organic Consumers Association.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed to the plan Wednesday. The proposal, reported Bloomberg, also says that the "government intends to oppose any request for the E.U. to renew the license to produce the weedkiller, according to a release by the environment ministry."

The European Commission, the E.U.'s rules and regulations body, in 2017 renewed the license for glyphosate in the bloc through the end of 2022.

Germany's environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, framed the new move as necessary to protect biodiversity, and said that "a world without insects is not worth living in".

"What harms insects also harms people," Schulze said at a press conference. "What we need is more humming and buzzing."

Glyphosate is no longer exclusive to Monsanto's Roundup, as it "is now off-patent and marketed worldwide by dozens of other chemical groups including Dow Agrosciences and Germany's BASF," as Reuters noted

That's despite the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer's 2015 designation of glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen," increasing concerns over its health effects, and mounting legal woes for Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year, as multiple juries have found Roundup to have been a factor in plaintiffs' cancers.

Such concerns prompted Austria to become the first E.U. country to ban glyphosate, a step it took in July.

Erwin Preiner, a member of the Austrian parliament who worked on the ban, said at the time, "We want to be a role model for other countries in the E.U. and the world."


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EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·


Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·


Betrayal of Railway Workers Ignites Working-Class Fury Toward Biden and Democrats

"Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic," said one rail leader. "Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class 1 rail carriers every time."

Jessica Corbett ·


With GOP House Control Looming, Pascrell Calls for Swift Release of Trump Tax Records

"Donald Trump tried to hide his tax returns from our oversight but after 1,329 days we have finally obtained the documents," said the New Jersey Democrat. "We should review and release them."

Kenny Stancil ·

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