Fastest-growing European Citizens’ Initiative demonstrates huge societal concern about pesticides
Brussels, 15 June 2017 – So far more than one million Europeans have signed the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to ban glyphosate, reform the EU pesticide approval process, and set mandatory targets to reduce pesticide use in the EU. The ECI organisers call on the Commission to respect the signatories’ demands by refusing a new licence for glyphosate.
This ECI has achieved the requirements set by the EU in less than five months, making it the fastest-growing ECI since the EU introduced this tool in 2012. More than one million EU citizens have signed the ECI across all 28 EU member states. The European Commission is now legally required to respond to Europeans’ demands and consider them in its upcoming decisions.
David Schwartz, ECI Coordinator at WeMove.EU said: “European citizens aren’t fooled by the pesticide industry’s lobbying efforts or the faulty science it’s peddling. In less than five months, more than one million EU citizens have joined our call for a glyphosate ban and reduced pesticide use throughout the EU. Our politicians need to hear this message loud and clear: they must protect citizens and the environment by banning this dangerous weedkiller and putting us on the path towards a pesticide-free future.”
Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) said: “The WHO has classified glyphosate as likely carcinogenic and tests in several countries have also revealed the omnipresence of it in our environment and organisms. It is outrageous that the Commission has put out a proposal to give it a green light for another 10 years, and probably contribute to more unnecessary cancer cases and suffering in the future.”
The Commission has recently announced its intention to renew the EU glyphosate licence by another 10 years. It is expected to issue a formal proposal ahead of a discussion with EU government representatives on 19-20 July. EU governments will be invited to vote on this proposal after the summer. Based on the outcome, the Commission will take a final decision before the end of the year when the current EU glyphosate licence runs out.
The ECI organisers will submit the signatures at the beginning of July, in order to require the Commission to formally respond before the final decision on a new glyphosate licence is made. The petition will remain open so that people still have the opportunity to speak out against glyphosate and in favour of reduced pesticide use in the EU.
The #StopGlyphosate ECI is backed by a pan-European coalition of over 100 organisations throughout the EU, and coordinated by WeMove.EU. For more information or to sign, please visit www.stopglyphosate.org.