Austria is set to become the first EU country to completely ban the use of glyphosate because of cancer concerns.
Last week, Austrian lawmakers voted to ban all uses of glyphosate, with Austria’s Social Democrat party (SPO), which brought the Bill forward, stating health must always take priority over profit.
The ban was expected to take effect from 2020, but there could be issues with EU law, where glyphosate has been cleared for use until December 2022.
Pamela Rendi-Wagner, leader of SPO, said: “The scientific evidence for a carcinogenic effect of the plant venom are increasing.
“It is our responsibility to banish this poison from our environment.”
The conservative People’s Party, however, opposed the decision, calling for an exemption for agriculture. But SPO said this would have been a ‘big mistake’.
Ms Rendi-Wagner said: “The health of the people, the protection of our children, must always have priority.”
The Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, which represents farmers and foresters, said studies had shown a national total ban was in breach of EU law and the correct use of the substance had positive ecological effects.
President Josef Moosbrugger said: “In trade, there will continue to be food from countries in which glyphosate is not prohibited.
“But if the food trade is really serious, then it will also take those foreign products off the shelf that come from countries where there is no total ban. That would only be consistent and honest with the consumer.”
Record temperatures hit French wheat
EUROPE’S record-breaking heatwave has hit French soft wheat crop prospects, official data showed, but the decline was not sufficient to ring alarm bells with investors.
Temperatures hit a record high in France at 45.9degC.
The French agriculture bureau, FranceAgriMer, said 75 per cent of domestic soft wheat was in ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ condition on Monday (July 8), the weakest rating of the season.
However, FranceAgriMer said it remained up year-on-year and was well above the poor assessments in the failed 2016 crop.