Category Archives: Campaigns

Your dinner is probably contaminated.

 

 

 
 
 

Glyphosate victory

18 months ago, Monsanto’s vast chemical-agricultural empire was rock solid.

Now, after over 2 million of us ran 20 campaigns, with millions of signatures, messages, phone calls, stunts, advocacy meetings and media stories… the future of the ‘Monsanto model’ is actually in question!!

The European Union just refused to grant Monsanto a new license for its flagship product – the pesticide glyphosate. This is massive – glyphosate accounts for up to a third of all Monsanto’s revenue!

“Looking to where we were in the beginning of this year and where we are now, Avaaz is indisputably the driving force of the fight for glyphosate discontinuance.”
Pavel Poc, Vice-Chair of the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee, and key leader of the glyphosate fight

Collage Monsanto model

This is far from over. But it’s an utter game-changer for countries like Germany, France and Italy to challenge the basis of Monsanto’s entire business model.

Avaaz delivers glyphosate petition at the EU parliament
Avaaz petition delivered to European Parliament

We haven’t been knee-jerk anti-pesticide. Our campaign calls for a suspension until independent science determines the safety of glyphosate. We’ll keep fighting, but if the EU allows 18 months for a new scientific process to weigh in, and we can ensure that process is truly independent, we could win this!!

We can also use the next 18 months to focus scrutiny on the global environmental impact of the Monsanto model, which is turning the surface of our planet into strange, toxic “biodeserts” where only one genetically modified Monsanto crop can grow.

Like with climate change and the Paris agreement, Avaaz has mobilised people on this issue at an unprecedented scale – we’ve taken the fight against Monsanto to a whole new level, and now it’s up to all of us, over the next 18 months, to win it.

First big oil, now Monsanto. We are taking on the dragons of our world. But if we stick together, and choose to believe and act, we can do anything.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Alice, Bert, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team

PS – For more detail on all the tactics, meetings, and story of Avaaz’s glyphosate campaigning in the last year, here’s a summary.


Avaaz.org is a 44-million-person global campaign network
that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Urgent Glyphosate petition

Glyphosate weedkillers like Roundup should be completely banned now that the WHO says the chemical is “probably carcinogenic”. But the European Commission still seems determined to put Monsanto’s interests before public health concerns.

In March, the Netherlands joined France, Sweden, and Italy to oppose a new 15-year licence for glyphosate. Undeterred, the European Commission has tweaked the glyphosate license proposal a little to win over the Netherlands. We need to come together now to make sure the Netherlands government stands up to the agrochemical lobby and the Commission.

Concerns about the harm of the world’s most popular weedkiller are reaching a breaking point. Which means that the vote will be a close one, and “swing vote” countries like the Netherlands have the power to effectively ban glyphosate in the EU.

Tell the Netherlands government to use its decisive vote to effectively ban glyphosate.

Last month, MEPs backed a ban of glyphosate not only for hobby gardeners and in green spaces like parks and playgrounds, but also in agriculture, where crop diversification and mechanical means are sufficient for the necessary weed control. They also called for strict limits on pre-harvest applications – — proof that lawmakers are coming to understand the dangers of Monsanto’s favorite pesticide. Yet, the Commission is ploughing ahead regardless – while experts say we need an outright ban in order to protect against contamination of our food, water, and soil.

Greenpeace EU’s food policy director, Franziska Achterberg compared renewing the glyphosate licence without proof of its safety to “skydiving without checking your equipment first.” And two months ago, the Netherlands agreed and played a crucial role in delaying the vote pending further research.

In March, together we gathered over 240,000 signatures asking the European Parliament to ban the pesticide. And voices from Big Agrochemicals expressed how “upset” they were that politicians heard our concerns — which means we’re striking a nerve in a big way. Now, we need to target our pressure on the Netherlands and make sure they vote in the interest of the people they represent, not Monsanto.

Call on the Netherlands to stick to its commitment to protect us from the dangers of glyphosate and vote against the Commission’s proposal.

The Netherlands’ vote could make or break the future of glyphosate in the EU.

Tell the Dutch government to stick to its principles and oppose the reauthorization of the harmful pesticide.

Thanks for all that you do,
Nabil, Eoin and the team at SumOfUs

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More information:

European commission plans to relicense ‘carcinogenic’ weedkiller, The Guardian, 22 April 2016.
[In Dutch] Letter from the government of The Netherlands regarding EU’s glyphosate licence, Rijksoverheid.nl, 1 April 2016.

SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in £3 or become a SumOfUs core member with a regular monthly donation.

Glyphosate campaign

The EU is currently deciding whether to reissue the licence for the use of glyphosate.  This is in spite of a report from the World Health Authority that it is potentially carcinogenic (see below). We need you to support our campaign for a ‘No’ vote when the EU Commission next meets.

An EU environment committee has already voted overwhelmingly against the relicensing. The decision now rests with the EU executive, who will discuss the matter in mid April.

To voice the concerns of Garden Organic and our supporters, we will be sending a letter to Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s Health and Food Safety Commissioner, asking him to consider the vast amount of independent scientific evidence compiled in the recent report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), commissioned by the World Health Organisation. This report indicates that glyphosate alone, as well as in chemical formulations, causes genotoxicity in both humans and animals.

In the coming days we will be collecting as many signatures as possible to sit alongside ours and show the committee just how important this issue is. We would like to urge all our members and supporters to read and sign the letter, before 10am on Monday 4th April when we will be sending it off.

Read and sign our letter now

Thank you

Support our campaign for a ‘no’ vote on the relicensing of glyphosate

Glyphosate key facts

  • Glyphosate is a toxic herbicide used to kill weeds. It is rarely used on its own, but as part of a chemical cocktail, for instance with the trade name Roundup. It is the most widely and heavily used chemical used by farmers, gardeners, growers and city councils worldwide.
  • In July 2015, The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), acting on behalf of the WHO, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This is based on positive findings of carcinogenicity in regulatory animal studies, as well as limited evidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, particularly amongst farmers.
  • Makers of glyphosate claim that it is unlikely to pollute the water (ground or surface). However, researchers have found traces in wells and ground waters in countries as diverse as Holland, Spain and Canada. It has been found in the residues on the sides of UK reservoirs, and recently Guernsey Water Company found 19 of 20 samples contained glyphosate. Water contamination is probably as a result of drift from spraying, or from soil run off and erosion.

For information about this issue, including the sources of the information contained within this email, and advice on organic weed control methods, click here.

Background on the EU decision can be read here.