ByOn July 25, 2016
The Monsanto Company’s business model is highly diversified in many ways, including genetically engineered seeds, agrochemicals, and even some non-GM crops, but it’s no secret that the Roundup weedkiller is a key component of its profit strategies.
Recently, European countries deliberated on whether to ban glyphosate, the main component of that weedkiller, and now it appears as if one country is finally set to issue the first total ban on the controversial chemical — the island nation of Malta, according to a recent article from Sustainable Pulse.
Previously, it has been reported that The Netherlands banned glyphosate as well toward the end of 2015, but the ban only applied to private sales.
The new proposed Malta ban is different, however, as it would amount to a total ban on the chemical.
Europe’s First Total Glyphosate Ban
While France is also considering a ban on glyphosate, Malta, the 5th-smallest European country, seems to be especially serious about its plans.
As noted in the Pulse article:
“An Environment Ministry spokeswoman told the Times of Malta that the government had begun the process of banning the chemical, which is considered a ‘probable human carcinogen’ by the World Health Organization cancer agency…
“Malta’s position remains against the use of glyphosate and Malta voted against it without reservations,” the spokeswoman said.
The World Health Organization made the “probable cancer causing” declaration in spring 2015. Since then, Monsanto has intensified its efforts to have the declaration retracted.
Monsanto says other studies show that the herbicide is safe, but critics point out that Monsanto has been known to rely heavily on studies with ties to industry interests.
European countries have recently launched an 18-month extension period for glyphosate’s license renewal, during which the chemical will be further studied for its potential toxicity. In early June Malta was the only country to vote against the renewal of glyphosate, while France and Germany also abstained. France later changed its position and opposed the renewal, according to the Pulse.
Despite the fact that Monsanto continues to deny the WHO study findings, it has been reported widely that the company knew about a link to increase cancer risks nearly four decades ago, according to U.S. government documents from the EPA.