A group of 159 scientists from universities and institutes across the country have made a last-ditch appeal to farm minister Piet Adema to vote against EU plans to licence glyphosate herbicides for a further 10 years.
The scientists argue that it is impossible to say if glyphosate is safe given the current assessment system used in Europe, Trouw reported on Tuesday. A majority of MPs have also called on the minister to vote no, rather than abstain.
The scientists include Nijmegen neurologist and Parkinson’s expert Bas Bloem, Leiden toxicologist Martina Vijver and Utrecht researcher Daniel Figueiredo. In the letter, they say the European safety body Efsa has not taken all the relevant research into account when recommending the licence extension.
Adema said earlier that while he accepts people’s concerns, he wants to wait until the results of new research into the health risks before taking a stand. Glyphosate has been linked to cancer and Parkinson’s.
The leaders of at least 15 EU nations representing at least 65% of the EU population have to vote in favour of extending the licence for another 10 years. An earlier attempt to pass the legislation failed.
If the vote fails to gather enough support on Thursday, it will be up to the commission to decide. It wants to extend the licence, following positive advice from EU health bodies.
Dutch farmers and the flower industry want to be able to use the chemical because, they say, there are no alternatives.
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