Local council votes to ban controversial weed killer

Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller that contains glyphosate for sale in France. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller that contains glyphosate for sale in France. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

South Dublin County Council has voted to ban the use of glyphosate, as negotiations continue at European level over the future of the controversial weed killer in farming.

The vote was tabled by Sinn Fein councillor Enda Fanning who said that a report by the International Agency for Research against Cancer (IARC) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate was probably carcinogenic to humans, but was followed by another from the European Food Safety Authority that said glyphosate was “unlikely” to cause cancer.

"The European Parliament rejected this conclusion and demanded a review by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and requested EFSA release all scientific sources that led to its conclusion."

He said he was delighted that his fellow councillors agreed voted to ban the use of glyphosate in public areas. Fanning said it was unknown when the ban would come into affect.

Meanwhile, TD Mick Wallace questioned the Minister for Agriculture on whether there were any plans to support a ban on the use of herbicides and pesticides in ecological focus areas.

Wallace accused the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of reneging on our environmental responsibilities and applying Monsanto’s logic.

The Minister said that his proposal would result in an undermining of the commercial viability of our own protein crops and a situation whereby two sets of regulations would apply, one for ecologically-focused areas and a different set for the non-ecologically-focused area.

“ It is nonsensical. For that reason, it has been opposed by not just Ireland but by 18 other Member States.”

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Meanwhile, the European Commission is set to debate the re-authorisation of the world’s most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup product, for up to 15 years.

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