African Countries Urge EU Leaders Not To Reauthorise Glyphosate. PDF Print E-mail

There is mounting support from non-European countries to stop the reauthorisation of Glyphosate in the EU this week. Six African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, with the support of the IUF, have sent communications to EU heads of states and the relevant EU authorities (See Attachments).  The unions have pointed to the risks from agrochemicals that their members confront on a daily basis, often without sufficient protective clothing and with no training. Even though the unions have struggled for many years with employers and governments to improve this situation, workers continue to suffer the effects of indiscriminate pesticide application. The situation is rendered even more acute by the fact that many agricultural workers in Africa live where they work, surrounded by general pesticide contamination and an absence of potable water. Moves towards reduced pesticide applications through integrated pest management and the adoption of agro-ecological farming techniques have so far only brought meagre results and sugar workers are exposed to particularly heavy, indiscriminate glyphosate application since the herbicide is used to accelerate ripening of the cane.

The unions believe that re-authorization would set back their own longstanding efforts to ban or restrict the application of glyphosate and other pesticides, and have urged the Commission to implement a ban on glyphosate use to ‘lead the way’.  Failing that, to respect at a minimum the April 13 resolution of the European Parliament, which called for limited reauthorization for 7 years, with important restrictions. 

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