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02.08.2016

German farmers battling to change minds on glyphosate

The report prompted consumer concerns about the use of glyphosate, throwing the future use of the chemical into doubt.
The future of the most widely used farm chemical in the world is in doubt for European farmers
In Europe, a ban was nearly implemented this year but at the last minute farmers were granted a small reprieve with authorisation to use the chemical across the European Union extended until January 2017.

Farmers in major European countries like Germany are now in the fight of their life to keep the chemical beyond that date.

At 600 farm sites, on road sides and in paddocks easily viewed by the public, German farmers are trying to educate the public. They've planted small plots of grain crops, which near harvest are horribly over grown with weeds and wild flowers. In this field section, we have dispensed with modern crop protection. No products against weeds, fungi, pests have been used.

Farmers are trying to show what will happen if they lose the use of glyphosate. They say more environmentally farming methods like no-till cropping can't exist without the chemical.

Willi Kremer-Schillings, better known as Farmer Willi, believes when he explains that carbon emissions from farming will increase without the chemical, consumer perceptions change.

People say 'I haven't seen it from this point of view before. I thought if we don't have glyphosate all problems are solved'.

Former head of the European Farmers Association Gerd Sonnleitner, who was also the leader of the German Farmers Association for 15 years, said the debate was the price of farming in a rich country.

We have a very rich people in Europe. There is not a problem of less food they always say we are too fat, too much chemicals and we need to live more native.


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