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Germany to Put 'Massive Restrictions' on Monsanto Weedkiller
The minister also plans to set "massive restrictions" for its use in agriculture, with exemptions for areas that are prone to erosion and cannot be worked with heavy machinery.
"I am planning a regulatory draft as a first building block in the strategy to minimize use of glyphosate," Kloeckner said.
She said the proposal would be vetted by other ministries but did not set a deadline to end use of the herbicide.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient Monsanto's Roundup, is the world's best-selling weedkiller and has been used for more than 40 years. In Germany, about 40 percent of crop-growing land is treated with glyphosate.
The chemical has been at the center of international controversy since 2015, when the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as "probably carcinogenic." The European Food Safety Authority, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, consider it safe.
In February, the new German coalition government agreed on a "systematic minimization strategy" to significantly restrict use glyphosate, "with the goal of fundamentally ending usage as fast as possible." The strategy did not include a timeframe.
Germany's new Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, from the center-left Social Democrats, welcomed Kloeckner's proposal as the first step to ending use of glyphosate. Eliminating its use is a key goal of Schulze's legislative term.
"We need a full exit from glyphosate during this legislative period. Glyphosate kills everything that is green, depriving insects of their food source," she said earlier this month.
In November, Kloeckner's conservative predecessor Christian Schmidt sparked outrage among glyphosate opponents and the previous German coalition after he unexpectedly voted in favor—and effectively swung the EU's decision—of renewing the weedkiller for the next five years.
According to Reuters, Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, which is acquiring Monsanto, said the issue has become too politicized in Europe and that Germany would wind up banning the chemical without an adequate regulatory framework.
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It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.
By Jake Johnson
Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.