The Monsanto Company has already gained a massive foothold in the world seeds and agrochemical market, even as several countries in Europe have considered glyphosate bans, on the heels of widespread GMO crop cultivation bans.
But with a pending merger with its German counterpart and pharmaceutical giant Bayer on the horizon, the company still has hopes of expanding its influence.
Now, Monsanto may be in for a rude awakening as the second most populous country in Europe could be set to ban its flagship weed-killing chemical.
German Glyphosate Ban in Planning Stages
According to a new report from the website Sustainable Pulse, Germany’s pending new government has made a complete ban on glyphosate part of a new “blueprint for formal grand coalition negotiations.”
Details as to when the ban may be implemented have not been announced according to the Pulse,which was informed of the country’s plans on Thursday by sources in the German Social Democrats party (SPD).
A glyphosate reduction-turned-ban was said to be a key point in negotiations to form a new German government, the article said.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger still hasn’t been approved, but it is expected to be for $66 billion if it does go through.
Glyphosate was deemed a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in spring 2015, but Monsanto denies the claims citing approval from U.S. and other government health bodies.
Recently, over 1.3 million people signed a petition against the re-approval of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, and a ban throughout the European Union was nearly instituted. But an 18-9 vote (with one abstention) allowed a re-approval to pass.
Germany and Poland, which previously abstained, switched their votes in favor prior to the final vote.
Monsanto has been forced to defend itself against critics of Roundup ever since the IARC declaration, as well as recent allegations of ghostwritten research papers on its alleged safety, collusion with former EPA officials in the United States and other scandals.
Also in the U.S., lab tests have shown alarming estimated levels of glyphosate in some of the country’s most popular food items, especially processed foods like Cheerios cereal.
The best way to avoid glyphosate is to buy certified organic food whenever possible, as even products labeled “Non-GMO Project Verified,” or other non-organic foods, are far more likely to contain glyphosate residues.
For more information on the planned German ban, check out the full article by clicking here.
Thumbnail photo via Wikipedia Commons.