For Immediate Release
Jonathan Stevenson, media officer
Tel: +44 (0)7711 875 345 or +44 (0)20 7820 4913
EU Grants Temporary Extension to Glyphosate Licence
WASHINGTON - Responding to the news that the European Commission had granted a temporary licence to the controversial chemical glyphosate, Heidi Chow, a food campaigner with Global Justice Now said:
"Extending the licence for glyphosate for 18 months means another 18 months of hundreds of thousands of tons of a ‘probably carcinogenic’ chemical being sprayed on our parks, our farms and in our gardens.
"In many ways, the EU’s decision on glyphosate is emblematic of the way the EU has often acted with disregard to ordinary people in Europe and instead sided with the interests of corporate interests of agribusiness companies like Monsanto who make enormous profits from products containing glyphosate. It’s understandable that some people have voted to leave the EU because they feel it’s an undemocratic institution.
"Despite the fact that there isn’t yet an outright ban on glyphosate, this is still a victory for people power. Just a few months ago it looked very likely that there would be a 15 year relicensing of glyphosate with no restrictions, and many companies like Monsanto assumed that this would go ahead unchallenged. This massive challenge to the greed of chemical and agribusiness companies has come from the millions of people who signed petitions calling for a ban, to the hundreds of people across the UK who put labels on Monsanto’s Roundup bottles in garden centres to expose the truth about glyphosate.
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"There’s a lot of uncertainty about how the UK moves forward with leaving the EU, but products containing glyphosate will still be on our shelves during this period. We need to start putting more pressure on UK decision makers to ensure that they prioritise the healthy and well being of ordinary people over corporate profits."
Since early May pressure group Global Justice Now, which has a long-standing campaign against the corporate control of food systems, has sent over 1000 ‘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 the relabelled packs can be found online here.
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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.