In the Netherlands, people who have been spraying their lawns and gardens with Roundup will have to find another way to protect their land from pests. Late last year, the Dutch parliament voted to ban the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to private parties. The ban, under which agricultural use is excluded, was initially proposed several years ago. However, it is thought that Monsanto influence prevented it from taking place at the time.
A large factor in the vote is thought to be the Party for Animals, a political party in the Netherlands that places an emphasis on animal rights and welfare and aims to influence and guide political decisions. Their involvement in various matters makes it difficult for parliament to turn a blind eye towards environmental matters such as glyphosate use; this, coupled with an increasing number of citizens who have expressed concerns about health as it pertains to the chemical, led to the decision to ban it towards the end of 2015.
As most people are aware, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has been linked to everything from cancer and headaches to skin rashes and mood changes. The Dutch parliament’s decision represents an ideal move that the U.S. should embrace. Unfortunately, we find ourselves stuck in a sad game filled with loopholes, clever wordsmithing and greed.
For example, despite the fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, recently released a report stating that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” Monsanto maintains that the product is safe when used as directed by the label. Furthermore, they are adamant that the IARC findings are flawed, saying in a press release that “relevant, scientific data was excluded from review,” among other things.