Two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate, the most-widely used agricultural chemical in the world’s history, according to a new Yougov poll.

A prohibition on the herbicide ingredient was backed by three quarters of Italians, 70% of Germans, 60% of French and 56% of Britons, in a survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states.

Up to 150 MEPs in Strasbourg are expected to give urine samples today and tomorrow to see if they contain residues of the ingredient, ahead of a symbolic vote on prohibition this Wednesday.

Previous tests have found traces of the residue in the urine of people from 18 different European countries, and in over 60% of breads sold in the UK.

Read article in full: Two-thirds of Europeans support ban on glyphosate

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  • PRO
    These surveys are a nonsense. Who did they interview, farmers, environmentalists, Jo on the High Street. What question did they ask, how did they phrase it, what was the current topic of conversation in the news.

    They're a ridiculous inaccurate waste of time energy and money.
    • PRO
      Not enough people either 7000 would not be enough to be accurate for one country let alone 5. In my opinion.
      These stat games they play are too easy to manipulate too.
      It makes me wonder how many "wrong" answers are binned:-)
    • Very true............. what can happen with these sort of surveys is that the ecological "fanatics" for want of a better word, will be the only people that can be bothered to vote so the result is very biased in their direction. 

      • PRO
        True, but if this survey was conducted at a forum for the abolition of weed killers for example then of course they're going to get skewed fiqures as they would in the opposite direction at a conference to promote the use of weedklillers. These surveys are random and not a true guide to opinion in the real world. It's why most organisations use them sparingly and only as an indication as against a definitive answer. It's only the media who can sensationalise headlines that seem to believe in these surveys.
  • PRO

    The survey itself might well be flawed - I don't know, I'm not an expert on surveys. But the report itself, rather than sensationalise the issue, seems to do a decent job of showing that there is a real debate going on and that the debate is necessary, for safety reasons and also to make sure that there are options for agriculture to ensure good crop returns.

    On an anecdotal level and from a personal point of view, I'm not too chuffed with the idea that my bread and beer (I really like them both!) might well have traces of glyphosates in them. There are precedents for erring on the cautious side - it's not long ago that tobacco companies were able to advertise tobacco as not only safe, but actually good for us!

    I don't know what the wider picture for agriculture would be like with regard to a future ban, but if a debate (and a possible ban) forces the producers to work harder to prove the substances are safe, or to look harder for proven safe alternatives, then I'm all for it and I'm happy for the media to bring these things to my attention. The media can be prone to sensationalist headlines, but that doesn't stop any of us looking closer to the sources for better information if we want to know more.

    • PRO Supplier

      Well said. There's a growing body of evidence that glyphosate isn't safe, as research is now looking at the effects of small repeated doses on wildlife and humans. 

      • PRO
        Its not the subject I have issue with its the alledged support from the public they claim via biased and leading questionaires.

        Again I'm not disagreeing with these findings of these scientist as I havent spent anytime reading their results but I always question these studies as the scientists will conciously or unconsciously lean towards the results their sponsers require. For example a producer of glyophosate would look for positive results, a disliker (excuse the poor English) of glyophosate would look for negative results. If millions of pounds is being spent on this research by one or other of the groups then it is in the scientists interests to either minimise the bad news or glorify the good depending on who is funding their research. (Espcially if they require further funding for other projects or if its a full time employer). Its human nature.

        This is a known fact that has plagued the scientific world for many many years. Sadly some major research projects have been called into question for exactly these reasons. On occasion careers have been affected.

        A true study should not funded by an interested party but by a unbiased body. The reality is that thats not usually the case. Sadly this is were the money comes from.

        In a slightly naive view I would like to think that governments and those bodies that set the rules look at all the evidence both good and bad and make a informed unbiased dcision.

        In my view, if a product is bad for us or the world in general then it should be banned but only if its generally decided by a free thinking unprejudiced body not by greedy politicians who have other organisations interests in mind.

        Reality and experience states that my view isn't really likely to happen.
      • PRO
        I also think there risk based assessment if you like because unless we go back to living in mud huts we are never going to get away from pollutants. Cars vans lorries planes all pollute should we ban them?
        Ban electricity from anything other than renewables and see what happens?
        I'm not a fan of weed killers and don't use them. But I would if a situation called for it and this year for the first time I've got to do 3 applications on one site hence doing pa1-6.
        But just because I qualify does not mean I will go mad spraying.
        These headline grabbing statements help no one. IMO
  • So often I see my customers spraying weedkiller without wearing gloves or washing their hands immediately afterwards. Often they are wearing sandles and are bear legged. There's no control of selling the big brands of weedkiller and that to me is the real concern. People want solutions and problems to be solved in bottles or containers as a easy fix instead of doing cultural work in the garden. I would like to see it banned to the general public and only qualified operators to be use it sparingly.
    • PRO
      Part of this problem is complacency. There are instruction on every bottle about PPE. People just choose to ignore them. It's their own fault. Why should everyone else who does care and uses products as per the guidelines be penalised for their stupidity?

      Don't misunderstand me I'm not pointing at anyone in particular.....I'm by no means perfect....I've become complacent about many things over the years as have all of us but the difference between me (and hopefully you) and many others is that I know it and when it does affect me I don't look for someone or thing to blame. I accept it, repair it if required, correct my ways, learn and move on. I'm just cheesed off that when things do go wrong more and more people seem to think that "it's not my fault" when actually it bloody is.
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