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Glyphosate: EU postpones decision on continuing authorization

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At the beginning of the week, the decision on extending the authorization of glyphosate was on the agenda of the representatives of EU member states in Brussels. A number of countries had refused to give their permission for renewal. Since no agreement was reached, the vote was postponed.

There were already indications on Monday that there would not be a majority either for or against extending the authorization of glyphosate. France, Holland, Sweden and Italy had expressed their doubts about renewal of authorization. A diplomat confirmed that extending authorization would not be put to the vote in the relevant committee. He said that apparently there was not a clear majority among member states .

The spokesman for the Greens/EFA in the EU Parliament, Martin Häusling, welcomes the postponement. He regards it as a “great initial success” for the opponents of the herbicide. “Only a week ago it seemed there was no prospect of postponing the vote." He said that an intensive campaign, in which civil society and his parliamentary group had taken part, had resulted in “at least some governments – including the German government – not just nodding through a renewal of authorization.” The German federal government was not able to agree on the position to adopt.

Government should analyze risks

Whether the best selling herbicide worldwide is detrimental to health is still a contentious issue. An agency within the World Health Organization categorized the herbicide as “probably carcinogenic”. In contrast, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment BfR sees no danger to the health of consumers. Häusling called on the EU Commission to ensure that a comprehensive and balanced analysis of the risks is carried out in the coming weeks. “That’s in keeping with the cautionary principle to which the EU Commission is committed."






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