Monday, November 27, 2017


Scandal erupts around German glyphosate vote

 Published: 27 November 2017

 Minister of agriculture goes rogue, votes for glyphosate renewal in spite of environment minister's opposition
Today a qualified majority of EU member states voted for the Commission proposal to renew the authorization of glyphosate for five years. Germany voted in favour, despite having previously abstained from voting on the topic due to a difference of opinion between the environment ministry (which opposes renewal) and the agriculture ministry (which supports it).

Now a number of news reports circulating in Germany indicate that the German YES to glyphosate was sent to Brussels by the minister for agriculture Christian Schmidt (CSU, Bavarian Regionalist Conservatives), without the consent of and even against a explicit written veto by his colleague, the minister of environment Barbara Hendricks (SPD, Social Democrats). 

This is a serious and unexpected break of procedure and trust within the government.

The division in the German government over glyphosate has been confirmed by Hendricks in the following words (confirmed by her spokesperson in writing): 

"Exactly two hours before the start of the Appeals Committee meeting, today at 12:30, I clearly stated to my colleague Mr Schmidt over the phone that I still disagree with renewing the approval of glyphosate, even under certain conditions. It was therefore also clear that Germany had to abstain at the appeal committee meeting. At 13:07, Mr Schmidt confirmed to me by SMS that the disagreement remains.

"Apparently at the same time a different directive was issued to the representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Brussels than was agreed between us. Anyone interested in building trust between interlocutors cannot behave in that way."[1]

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