European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

We need an exit strategy for Glyphosate


Brussels, 20 June 2016: The days are numbered for glyphosate, the world’s most widely-use herbicide. After three failed attempts at reaching a qualified majority decision, two meeting will be held on June 24 and 27 to decide on the future of the compound.

Representing European agricultural workers, EFFAT is calling for an exit strategy that promotes alternative substances in order to do away with glyphosate as quickly as possible.

“We are asking for a transitional period, no longer than five years, to implement a non-carcinogenic alternative and to get rid of glyphosate. But we want to see the European Commission committing to the establishment of a clear exit strategy”, said Arnd Spahn, EFFAT agriculture political secretary.

EFFAT urges the European Commission to stop the long-term use of glyphosate by:

  • Tasking DG Research & Innovation with further investigation into and licence of alternative non-carcinogenic substitute substances
  • Promoting free-pesticides production methods through DG Agriculture and Rural Development

Furthermore, not only should the re-authorisation have a time limit, but it should also include very strict conditions of use.

EFFAT advocates for listing glyphosate as a carcinogenic substance.

  • From now on, anyone who is forced to spread this product should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, as well as follow specific training on the consequences of using carcinogenic substances in the work environment.
  • In order to reduce its use efficiently, glyphosate should promptly be limited to a business-oriented agricultural and horticultural use.
  • The use of this substance should be prohibited in private gardens, public green spaces and any other non-agricultural land.

It is high time to reach a decision based on a realistic approach that protects workers and establishes a clear exit-strategy toward the end of glyphosate’s use.

For more information:

Arnd Spahn
EFFAT Agriculture Political Secretary


EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.