Environmental groups are urging EU citizens to sign a petition to ban the pesticide’s use in the EU

The European commission says it has received a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – essentially a petition put together by EU citizens – proposing a ban on the controversial pesticide glyphosate.

The proposal is being supported by a number of environmental groups, and according to the rules ECIs need to be submitted by a committee which includes representatives from at least seven EU member states. The initiative calls on the commission ‘to propose to member states a ban on glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use’. Several environmental organisations, including Greenpeace and the Pesticide Action Network, have already voiced their support.

The commission says it will officially register the ECI on 25 January, after which any EU citizen will be able to sign it and add their support. For the initiative to be considered and responded to by the commission it will have to attract more than a million signatures, with minimum thresholds reached in at least seven member states, within a year of this date.