European Parliament backs glyphosate ban

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Image captionNew non-chemical weed killers in use at Fulham Palace

A potentially-harmful chemical which H&F Council was the first in London to stop using, has now been recommended for a Europe-wide ban by 2022.

Last week, the European Parliament voted for the weedkiller glyphosate to be phased out completely across 28 countries within five years. 

In June 2016, H&F Council halted its use due to concerns over the possible harm to people and wildlife and has since pioneered the use of chemical-free alternatives.

“We welcome the vote by the European Parliament to phase out use of this potentially harmful chemical,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.

“Our decision to stop using it was simple: regularly spraying chemicals where our children play and pets are exercised is too high a risk, as is the potential for harm to insects and the wider ecosystem.

“At part of our drive to be the most environmentally positive borough, we’re now using a chemical-free alternative that is far kinder to the environment and poses no risks to people, pets or vital wildlife like bees.”

The decision, on 24 October, prompted the European Commission to drop proposals to extend the licence for its use - which expires at the end of this year - for another decade.

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded the chemical was ‘probably carcinogenic’.

Last week’s motion requested the chemical be phased out by 2022, with its use in households banned completely.

EU member countries will now readdress the issue, potentially next month, and agree a move forward.

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