A coalition of environmental groups Feb. 8 sought to put pressure on European Union decision-makers over the pesticide glyphosate by starting a campaign to collect 1 million signatures objecting to the continued authorization of the substance in the 28-country bloc.
Under a mechanism known as the European Citizens’ Initiative, public campaigns on issues over which the EU has decision-making powers can be formally registered by the European Commission, the EU’s executive. Collection of a million validated signatures triggers a requirement for the commission to discuss and possibly make a legislative proposal on the subject of the initiative.
The groups behind the glyphosate initiative, including Greenpeace, the Pesticide Action Network Europe, and the Health and Environment Alliance, said that use of glyphosate in the EU should be banned. They are also urging that the commission should propose reforms to the EU system for pesticide approvals and should set a target to reduce pesticide use in the bloc.
The commission agreed to register the glyphosate citizens’ initiative Jan. 10, and said the organizers had one year in which to collect at least 1 million signatures from a minimum of seven EU countries.