EU nations again postpone decision on weed killer glyphosate
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations again postponed a decision Wednesday on the continued use of the popular weed killer glyphosate amid concerns about its possible links to cancer.
EU member nations decided not to vote on extending the weed killer’s license after the European Parliament backed a move to limit a license renewal to five years. The EU’s executive Commission had earlier proposed a license extension of ten years.
The next meeting to make a decision will likely be on Nov. 6, officials said.
The Commission last year gave a limited 18-month extension for glyphosate, pending more detailed advice on the impact of the weed killer. That license expires by the end of the year.
Many argue there are too many uncertainties about the health effects of the weed killer. Glyphosate is an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, a popular weed killer across the globe.
Environmentalists want a ban as soon as possible while the EU’s farmer’s union wants a 15-year extension.
“The Commission will continue to work with the member states to find a solution that enjoys the largest possible support, which ensures a high level of protection of human health and the environment,” said EU Commission spokeswoman Anca Paduraru.
Activists protested outside EU headquarters where the officials met.
David Schwartz, a campaigner for the WeMove.EU group, said it has filed a European citizen initiative signed by 1.3 million people asking for a full ban on glyphosate.
The GTF industry group, which includes Monsanto, said in a statement that the continued uncertainty and delays were “discriminatory and unacceptable.”
It said the long approval process “threatens to put European agriculture at competitive disadvantage” and puts at risk “investments in Europe to the detriment of the farming community.”