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EU again delays decision on glyphosate renewal

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EU again delays decision on glyphosate renewal

Photo by Brian Robert Marshall

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission again postponed a vote on whether to renew the licence for the controversial herbicide glyphosate on Thursday, despite a WHO warning about a link to cancer.

The EU vote on glyphosate has already been postponed in March this year.

Given concerns about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, used in many farm and garden applications, the Euroepan Parliament had only last month called for an independent review and publication of all the scientific evidence that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate.

MEPs also said that the Commission should renew its marketing approval for just 7 years, instead of 15, and for professional uses only.

The Parliament's resolution had called on the Commission to table a new draft in order to better address the sustainable use of herbicides containing glyphosate and also to launch an independent review of the overall toxicity and classification of glyphosate, based not only on data relating to carcinogenicity but also on possible endocrine-disruptive properties.

Commenting on the Commission's delay, Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: "This is the second time the Commission has failed to get the backing of EU governments for the re-approval of glyphosate. This is no surprise, since the Commission has continued to ignore the concerns of independent scientists, MEPs and European citizens. It’s time for the Commission to change course."

Glyphosate is an active substance widely used in herbicides. Patented in the early 1970s, it was introduced to the consumer market in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide and quickly became a best seller. Since its patent expired in 2000, glyphosate has been marketed by various companies and several hundred plant protection products containing glyphosate are currently registered in Europe for use on crops.


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