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Sharp limits on glyphosate coming to Italy; meanwhile EPA wants to raise 'acceptable' exposure levels for Americans


Glyphosate

(NaturalNews) Italy's Ministry of Health has imposed sweeping new restrictions on the use of the cancer-causing herbicide glyphosate, a move that represents one of the "largest bans on both consumer and agricultural use of the controversial substance."

The new restrictions cover a wide range of applications, including the use of glyphosate near schools and other public areas where "vulnerable groups" such as children and the elderly risk being affected by exposure to the carcinogenic substance.

From Sustainable Pulse:

"The list of banned areas includes parks, gardens and courtyards, the edges of roads and railways, urban areas, sports fields and recreational areas, playgrounds and green areas within the school buildings, and areas adjacent to health facilities.

"In addition, the pre-harvest use of Glyphosate – a process known as desiccation – has been banned. The desiccation of crops by spraying glyphosate is a primary source for residual pesticide contamination at the consumer level. Finally, the non-agricultural use of glyphosate is banned on soils composed 80% or more of sand–a measure designed to protect groundwater from contamination."

A brief history of Europe's 'Great Glyphosate Rebellion'

Italy has now become the second EU member state – along with Malta – to announce new restrictions inspired by the "Great Glyphosate Rebellion" that swept through the continent earlier this year, as the deadline for re-approval of the use of glyphosate approached.

A series of articles published by Sustainable Pulse throughout 2016 detail the birth and evolution of the Great Glyphosate Rebellion.

The next few paragraphs are a summary of the important developments:

Initially, the EU was set to vote in 2016 on the re-approval of glyphosate use until 2031, but when it became apparent that many member states would not vote in favor of the long-term extension, the vote was postponed until the end of an 18-month temporary license extension that was granted by the European Commission.

Public pressure played a great part in convincing member state leaders to oppose the long-term extension. More than 1.5 million European and international citizens signed a petition calling for a ban on glyphosate use (the number of signatures has now surpassed 2 million), and their voices were heard. In April, the European Parliament called for a ban on all private use of the substance, as well as a ban on using glyphosate around parks and playgrounds.

The proposed ban also included the prohibition of glyphosate spraying before harvest, and called for the "immediate disclosure of all scientific evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority to back up its claim that glyphosate is unlikely to cause harm."

The European Commission twice failed in 2016 to secure enough support from member states to vote for long-term re-approval, which led to the 18-month temporary extension.

Now that the temporary extension is in place, and EU member states are beginning to impose nationwide glyphosate bans, the widespread use of the deadly chemical may be nearing an end in Europe.

That's great news for European citizens who successfully banded together in opposition to the use of the controversial substance.

The disturbing contrast back home in the U.S.

Meanwhile in the United States, the situation is quite different. In 2013, the EPA quietly raised acceptable limits of glyphosate with almost no warning or debate, and the public took little notice.

The agency doubled the acceptable glyphosate residue levels of oilseed crops, including soybean, sesame and flax. The FDA also raised acceptable glyphosate residue levels of sweet potatoes and corn by 15 and 25 times the previous limits, respectively.

It's a sad fact that Americans seem to care little about the widespread use of a cancer-causing chemical, while Europeans are uniting in great numbers to clean up their environment through meaningful bans and restrictions.

Of course, this is partly due to a failed and sold-out regulatory system that does virtually nothing to encourage public input and debate. However, ultimately it is our responsibility as citizens to unite and stand up in opposition to those who are poisoning our food and environment – while raking in billions of dollars in profits.

Ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse.

Sources:

SustainablePulse.com

SustainablePulse.com

SustainablePulse.com

SustainablePulse.com

CommDigiNews.com

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