No deal: Brussels allows use of glyphosate across EU for next 10 years

16 November 2023

Member states failed to reach agreement
“The Commission, based on comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), together with EU Member States, will now proceed with the renewal of the approval of glyphosate for a period of 10 years, subject to certain new conditions and restrictions,” it said in a statement.

“These restrictions include a prohibition of pre-harvest use as a desiccant and the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms,” it added.

The EU executive was granted the power to approve its own proposal after experts from member states on Wednesday morning failed, for the second time, to reach a qualified majority in favour or against the plan first presented in September.

This came after the EFSA said in a July assessment that it had found “no critical areas of concern” for the renewal of use beyond 15 December, when the current five-year approval was due to expire.

The decision to use glyphosate at the national level remains, however, in the hands of each individual government.

No EU country has a blanket ban on glyphosate although some, including Austria, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, have rolled out partial bans by prohibiting its use in certain areas or by households.


‘Alarming evidence’

Glyphosate is a herbicide introduced in the 1970s and used to eliminate weeds that invade agricultural crops and public spaces. It has been a source of controversy since the World Health Organization’s cancer agency concluded in 2015 that it was probably carcinogenic to humans.

The Commission reiterated in its latest communiqué that the EFSA screened 16,000 published studies, 2,000 of which were considered potentially relevant, as well as 300 additional studies brought to its attention during the public consultation phase to deliver its assessment.

“We regret that the Commission turns its back to independent science and citizens’ concerns and plans to re-approve this dangerous herbicide for another 10 years,” Angeliki Lysimachou, Head of Science and Policy at Pesticide Action Network Europe, said.

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Brussels allows use of glyphosate across EU for 10 more years after member states fail to reach deal | Euronews