Germany defeats France to swing EU vote in favour of herbicide glyphosate

Germany defeated its key EU ally France in a very tight vote on Monday to clear the use of the herbicide, glyphosate, for the next five years after a heated debate over whether it causes cancer.

Representatives from 18 of the 28 members states voted in favour of the European Commission's proposal for a five-year renewal, with nine against and one abstained, the commission said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20171127-eu-backs-renewal-controversial-weed-killer-glyphosate-five-years-agriculture

EU renews glyphosate for five years as Germany swings the balance

A much-awaited qualified majority of EU member states was reached today (27 November) for the re-authorisation of the world’s most commonly used weedkiller, glyphosate.

The Appeal Committee, which consists of experts from the EU member states and the European Commission, met on Monday to discuss renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/germany-swings-the-balance-as-eu-renews-glyphosate-for-five-years/

Monsanto Admits Untested Roundup Herbicide Could Cause Cancer in Secret Court Documents

In secret internal Monsanto documents released last week by legal firms in the U.S. it was revealed how Monsanto scientists admitted that they were aware of the possible carcinogenic and genotoxic risk posed by their number one product, the glyphosate-based herbicide – Roundup.

The new revelations follow similar revelations in May, which showed how the same Monsanto manager, Dr. George Levinskas, who helped hide the carcinogenic potential of PCBs in the 1970s, also influenced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate in the 1980s.

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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A message from Helena Norberg-Hodge

Dear friends, Donald Trump’s candidacy – with its simplistic policy positions and its undercurrent of racism and sexism – left most of us believing he couldn’t possibly win. Now his victory is a visceral shock from which many have still not recovered. To better understand what happened – and why – we need to broaden our horizons. If we zoom out a bit, it becomes clear that Trump is not an isolated phenomenon; the forces that put him in the White House have been growing throughout the Western world for some time. Earlier this year, the Brexit vote in the UK was also based on fear and narrow-minded nationalism, not on a sophisticated critique of EU economic policy.

Right-wing extremism is on the rise in many other parts of Europe; even in my native country of Sweden, where racism was all but absent during my younger years. If we zoom out even further, a broader pattern emerges. Almost everywhere in the world, unemployment is increasing, the gap between rich and poor is widening, environmental devastation is worsening, and a spiritual crisis – revealed in substance abuse, domestic assaults, and teenage suicide – is deepening.

By looking from a global perspective it becomes apparent that these many crises – including the rise of right-wing sentiments – share a common root cause: an increasingly corporatized and globalized economic system that is devastating not only planetary ecosystems, but the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Read more https://notthembutus.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/a-message-from-helena-norberg-hodge/

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