Published: Wed, November 29, 2017
World | By Camille Rivera

European Union reaches decision on glyphosate renewal

European Union reaches decision on glyphosate renewal

He added: "It is good news that farmers and growers will be able to continue using glyphosate for another five years".

After a drawn-out process, the European Union backed the extension with a qualified majority.

"The decision taken today by a narrow qualified majority of Member States has locked the EU into another five years of toxic agriculture", said Bart Staes, a Green Party member of the European Parliament. After a series of indecisive votes, they finally produced a clear majority in favor of the Commission's proposal.

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18 member states voted in favour of granting the license for another 5 years, including Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania which previously abstained, while nine member states voted against and just Portugal abstained.

European Union health and food safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said that "when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making".

In the latest sign of tensions in Chancellor Merkel's bid to form a government, Ms Hendricks said she "declared clearly" to Mr Schmidt that she "did not agree with an extension of the renewal of glyphosate", but he then "received another instruction than the one which was agreed between us". Anyone interested in building trust between interlocutors can not behave that way " the Environment Minister added.

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However, NGO Friends of the Earth Europe's Adrian Bebb said that the result was "a missed opportunity to get rid of this risky weedkiller and start to get farmers off the chemical treadmill".

While his position mirrors that of most British farmers, it contrasts with the concerns of environmentalists and other campaigners anxious by the chemical's alleged health risks.

The EU risk assessment process on glypyhosate has been mired in controversy, as the United Nations cancer agency differed to EFSA and ECHA in its conclusions regarding the safety of the herbicide.

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In March this year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency published their own study, concluding that the chemical was safe to use.

Glyphosate was introduced in 1974 by USA agro-giant Monsanto under the brand-name Roundup.

Speaking at the hearing, investigative journalist Carey Gillam of U.S. Right to Know said that the Monsanto Papers highlights how Monsanto has "ghostwritten research papers that assert glyphosate safety for publication and regulatory review".

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France has already said it will unilaterally ban glyphosate within three years.

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