What next after a ban on glyphosate?
The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the Network for a GE Free Latin America (RALLT) and the Third World Network have today released a briefing titled, What next after a ban on glyphosate—more toxic chemicals and GM crops? Or the transformation of global food systems.? The briefing has been prompted by the recent conclusion of the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), of the World Health Organization (WHO), that glyphosate, the world’s most-used chemical ingredient for weed control, is a “probable human carcinogen”.
In recent years, the use of glyphosate has come to be associated with herbicide-tolerant (HT) genetically modified (GM) crops, with glyphosate use increasing dramatically in all major GM HT crop-producing countries. The consequences for human health and the environment have been disastrous in many communities. A number of countries have already taken action to reduce or halt the use of glyphosate in response to the IARC assessment.
While glyphosate is still in use and is heavily relied upon for GM soya production in particular, Monsanto and other biotechnology and agro-chemical companies are already planning for business after glyphosate. A plethora of GM crops that are tolerant to multiple toxic herbicides – including 2,4-D and dicamba – are already approved for the market, while Monsanto has recently sought the potential acquisition of Syngenta, the world’s largest producer of herbicides.
The groups are calling for a ban on glyphosate, given the evidence. However, they insist that other toxic herbicides must similarly also come under urgent review and that adequate measures must be put in place to ensure that more toxic chemicals do not replace glyphosate.
Further, they argue that it is imperative that the IARC’s findings take the debate further—into deeper conversations about the characteristics of our food and agriculture systems and how they interact with and impact upon people and the environment. A shift is urgently needed from chemical-input agriculture to agro-ecology.
The groups are also calling for appropriate international bodies to initiate programmes for the fair and equitable reparations to affected people as well as the restoration and remediation of contaminated environments.
The briefing is available at: http://www.biosafety-info.net/article.php?aid=1155
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