Two-thirds of Europeans want glyphosate banned according to a poll by the international market research firm YouGov.
According to the survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states, the banning of glyphosate was supported by 75% of Italians, 70% of Germans, 60% of French and 56% of Britons.
Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide used in pesticides made by Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta, for example, and is the most heavily used weed-killer in history.
Some environmentalists claim glyphosate can kill all plants, bacteria, algae and fungi within a crop’s vicinity, causing knock-on effects to the health of humans and animals.
It's been reported that tests found traces of glyphosate in the urine of people from 18 different European countries, as well as in over 60% of breads sold in the UK and in Germany’s 14 best-selling beers.
Last month, Environment Committee MEPs said that the European Commission should not renew glyphosate’s authorisation.
They have said that it should commission an independent review of the herbicide and disclose all related scientific evidence on the herbicide.
However, scientific opinion is divided. It's reported the EU’s European Food Safety Authority have said it was “unlikely” to pose a public health risk, yet cancer scientists from the World Health Organisation have said it is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
We are trying to get as much consensus as possible among the member states. If there are reasonable concerns, they can be addressed. All things are on the table,” a commission source is reported as saying.
Responding to the results of the poll, Graeme Taylor, a spokesman for the European Crop Protection Association (Ecpa), is reported as saying, “We recognise that there is public concern but we also see 90,000 pages of evidence and 3,300 peer-reviewed studies in favour of glyphosate’s approval.”
Glyphosate’s current European license will expire in June and it's reported that a vote on relicensing is most likely to take place at a committee meeting in Brussels on May 19.