Green MEPs 'pissed off'

Published in Poisons Beware

The Green Group of the European Parliament organized urine tests for the herbicide glyphosate on 48 volunteer MEPs. 

Our foodstuffs are inescapably contaminated Our foodstuffs are inescapably contaminated Photo: Vivian Grisogono

The results were announced in a Press Release on May 12th 2016.

Glyphosate showed up in all the samples. Shocking, but not surprising to those who know how widespread the use of glyphosate is.

The average contamination was 1.7 micrograms/litre, which is 17 times higher than the norm for European drinking water. The Croatian MEP tested had the third highest reading of urine glyphosate at 2.46 μg/L, with a Lithuania MEP showing the greatest concetration (2.84 μg/L), followed by a Hungarian MEP with 2.63 μg/L

Perhaps taking the lead from Eco Hvar's article in Total Croatia News entitled 'EU taking the piss', the Green Group announced they were 'pissed off that our governments want to allow this poison for another nine years! No politician should have this in his or her body, and not a single citizen either!'

The Press Release described the multitude of problems associated with glyphosate use, and the alternative techniques which would be safer and better for the environment and human health.

Sadly, the Green Group recognized that the European Commission was resolutely set on driving through renewed approval for glyphosate use in Europe, despite opposition from the informed public and some governments: “in its latest proposal that will be voted next week (19th May) the Commission ploughs ahead with a full-fledged approval of glyphosate's license for nine years. It considers only symbolically if at all the European Parliament's resolution calling for a very limited scope of approval. Responsibility for the protection of operators and for multiple risks is discharged onto Member States in a non-legally binding manner.” The EC had already ridden rough-shod over the Environment Committee's call for a ban on the poison.

To add insult to injury, in advance of a further vote on re-approving glyphosate, yet another supposedly reassuring statement was produced by the United Nations Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), designed to fool the unwary into thinking that those opposed to glyphosate are simply scaremongering. Experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”. Yet another diversionary tactic designed to lull people into a false sense of security. The statement was publicized just a few days in advance of the further vote in the European Parliament.

It is hard to see the point of having such votes. Parliamentarians recommended a ban and several precautionary measures. Their receommendations were ignored, and they were asked to vote on a seven-year re-approval term, which was passed. Yet the next vote was asking for a nine-year approval. It would be the stuff of farce if teh consequences were not so tragic.

It is not the first time that poisons have been approved by the EC in defiance of opposition from governments, scientists and the public. Evidently proof of unacceptable risks cuts no ice with them. The European Parliament is sorely lacking in power, and its democratic processes are in total disarray. So it's down to individual governments and individual food producers and consumers to try to redress the balance as best they can. A stiff challenge - but everything is possible.

© Vivian Grisogono 2016 

You are here: Home poisons be aware Green MEPs 'pissed off'

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Government plan to educate owners and encourage fines not enough to effectively tackle air pollution

    Study links air pollution to mental ill-health

    Politicians and campaigners have called for an urgent review of wood-burning stoves, which cause large amounts of pollution in urban areas.

    The calls follow the admission by the environment secretary that the government had set weaker air pollution targets than it would like. The admission came as she announced a new environmental plan for England that held back from banning wood-burning stoves and settled instead for “educating” people on their use.

    Continue reading...

  • Co-author of paper says results have implications for anyone who has to think hard in polluted areas

    Chess experts make more mistakes when air pollution is high, a study has found.

    Experts used computer models to analyse the quality of games played and found that with a modest increase in fine particulate matter, the probability that chess players would make an error increased by 2.1 percentage points, and the magnitude of those errors increased by 10.8%.

    Continue reading...

  • National Trust project shows family home of ‘nature’s engineers’ and how they have improved the environment for other wildlife

    They can be seen chugging around their watery domain like small furry tugboats, gnawing away at saplings or nuzzling up to each other. The sound of babbling water and birdsong provides a pleasing soundtrack.

    A new online tour was launched on Thursday of an enclosure on the Holnicote estate in Somerset that is home to a family of five beavers. In what is billed as the first of its kind, the tour allows viewers to navigate through the 2.7-acre Exmoor enclosure where two adult beavers and their three offspring live and work.

    Continue reading...

  • Retailer and green groups warn of ‘high environmental cost’ of fish aggregating devices to tuna stocks and other endangered marine life

    The EU is under pressure to significantly restrict its huge fleet of fishing vessels from using “fish aggregating devices” that make it easier to catch huge numbers of fish and contribute further to overfishing.

    A letter signed by Marks & Spencer and more than 100 environmental groups, including the International Pole and Line Foundation, warns EU officials that the devices (FADs) are one of the main contributors to overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean, because they catch high numbers of juveniles.

    Continue reading...

  • The energy industry is turning waste from dairy farms into renewable natural gas – but will it actually reduce emissions?

    On an early August afternoon at Pinnacle Dairy, a farm located near the middle of California’s long Central Valley, 1,300 Jersey cows idle in the shade of open-air barns. Above them whir fans the size of satellites, circulating a breeze as the temperature pushes 100F (38C). Underfoot, a wet layer of feces emits a thick stench that hangs in the air. Just a tad unpleasant, the smell represents a potential goldmine.

    The energy industry is transforming mounds of manure into a lucrative “carbon negative fuel” capable of powering everything from municipal buses to cargo trucks. To do so, it’s turning to dairy farms, which offer a reliable, long-term supply of the material. Pinnacle is just one of hundreds across the state that have recently sold the rights to their manure to energy producers.

    Continue reading...

  • Researchers find long-term exposure to even relatively low levels raises risk of depression and anxiety

    Long-term exposure to even comparatively low levels of air pollution could cause depression and anxiety, according to a study exploring the links between air quality and mental ill-health.

    Tracking the incidence of depression and anxiety in almost 500,000 UK adults over 11 years, researchers found that those living in areas with higher pollution were more likely to suffer episodes, even when air quality was within official limits.

    Continue reading...

  • Government accepts Liberal Democrat amendment to UK infrastructure bank bill

    Taxpayer money may no longer be invested in water companies that fail to produce adequate plans to stop sewage discharges, after the government accepted a Liberal Democrat amendment.

    The change to the UK infrastructure bank bill means that once it becomes law, tax receipts will only be able to fund water companies if they produce a costed and timed plan for ending sewage spills into waterways.

    Continue reading...

  • Council election could have national implications if Greens snatch ward from Lib Dems

    The issues that have been raised on the doorstep during the campaign have tended to be local ones – from concerns over new housing developments to the state of the pavements and plans to increase fees paid by people who live on boats in the harbour.

    But a council byelection taking place at Bristol city council on Thursday may have national implications should the Green party manage to pinch the ward from the Lib Dems.

    Continue reading...

  • Study suggests tool could be used to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling office buildings

    Every year we shift our clocks forward in the spring, and backwards in the autumn. Originally daylight saving was introduced to save energy; reducing the number of hours that the lights had to be on in office buildings. But as climate changes, can daylight saving be used to reduce the energy demand for heating and cooling our office spaces?

    To answer this question researchers simulated the heating and cooling demands of office buildings for 15 different cities across the United States and analysed the impact that daylight saving could have until the year 2050 under different climate scenarios. Under current climate conditions daylight saving reduced cooling demand by up to 5.9%, but increased heating demand by 4.4%. As we head into a warmer future they found that daylight saving could reduce cooling demand by up to 5.4%, while increasing heating demand by 3.2%. In both cases daylight saving results in a net decrease in energy used.

    Continue reading...

  • Bossington, Somerset: Whether by human or nature’s hand, the riparian landscape here is being reshaped

    The January storms that boomed over Exmoor shed so much rain that the River Barle washed away a section of the ancient stone clapper bridge at Tarr Steps. And at Bossington Beach near Porlock, the combined forces of the usually mild Horner Water and River Aller blasted through the pebble bank, carving a deep, curving route roaring red-brown into the sea.

    It will be weeks until the huge rock slabs at Tarr Steps are recovered and replaced, but the breach at Bossington is already rapidly repairing itself as the tides re-sweep the shingle. Breaks such as this often occur because the beach is changing shape – it is being gradually thinned and lengthened by the sea’s swash and drift.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds