The European Commission has ordered a ground-breaking moratorium on two endocrine-disrupting weedkillers that have been linked to thyroid cancer, infertility, reproductive problems and foetal malformations.
Use of Amitrole and Isoproturon will now be banned from September 30 across Europe, after an EU committee voted unanimously for the first ever ban on endocrine-disrupting herbicides.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system. Scientific studies indicate that they can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects and a range of ailments related to gender, sex and reproductive systems.
Hans Muilerman, chemicals officer at Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, said: “This is a historic decision as it is clear that these chemicals are 100% endocrine disruptors. We applaud these two proposals but at the same time note that a large reservoir of harmful, classified and endocrine-disrupting pesticides is still waiting for a decision, which has been repeatedly postponed by the commission.”
While this is good news for Europeans, here in Canada and the US, many endocrine-disrupting weed killers remain widely used on food crops and in public parks. Regardless of where application occurs, one thing is certain, these dangerous and deadly chemicals make their way into our drinking water, our food and even in the air we all breathe.