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Glyphosate: extending authorisation only if EU states say yes
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Photo: Vandana Shiva passing protesters at the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague.
The wrangle over re-authorising the pesticide active agent glyphosate goes on and on. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, from the European Health and Food Safety Commission, has stated that this active agent will be approved for a further 10 years only with the agreement of member states.
There are many sides to the dispute regarding the risks associated with this total herbicide. The UN health authority IARC classifies glyphosate as probably carcinogenic. After investigation, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has come to the conclusion that the active agent should not be classified as carcinogenic. In response, the EU Commission proposed extending authorisation for 10 years. However, unless the proposal is supported by a qualified majority of EU members (16 out of 28 states have to vote in favour), Commissioner Andriukaitis has said he does not intend to extend authorisation. France has already announced that it will vote against extending approval and the German Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendriks, opposes it too.
A group of experts met in the middle of July while campaigns were taking place in Brussels that once again confirmed what ordinary people want to see happening. In a European Citizens' Initiative ECI more than 1.3 million signatures showed that many people want glyphosate to be banned.