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Scientific facts should determine future of glyphosate – Macra

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Macra na Feirme national president James Healy has said that emotion and fear must not overshadow scientific research and commentary in the discussion on the future use of the weed-killer, glyphosate.

Mr Healy has strongly encouraged young farmer organisations to outline the key scientific principles behind plant protection and herbicide substances to their Member State agricultural ministers in advance of the EU council discussion on November 9.

Speaking at a meeting of young farmers in Brussels on the re-authorisation of glyphosate, Mr Healy said: "Farmers are professional users of plant protection and herbicide substances and have to the forefront their own health and the health of consumers. We must not let a debate based on emotion or fear overshadow scientific research and commentary."

According to Macra, European organisations including the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) have scientific data that provides a clear position on the safety of the product from a consumer and public health perspective.

There are many economic and environmental arguments that can be raised on glyphosate but any reauthorisation decision should be taken based on the safety of the product from a human health perspective, and this data is available from independent European institutions.

"It’s not the time for European political decision-making institutions to do a solo run against the rest of the world. Our politicians need to leave aside the emotive and populist argument and stick with the scientific data and not have European farmers at a disadvantage to the rest of the world," Mr Healy said.

Tags: Macra na Feirme James Healy glyphosate