Controversial weed-killer gets 18-month EU extension
The European Commission has decided to extend the licence of glyphosate, found in Monsanto’s weed-killer, Roundup, by 18 months. The chemical’s 15-year licence was to expire on June 30 this year.
Glyphosate is used widely in agriculture, forestry, urban and home applications. Its use has been surrounded by much debate due to safety concerns. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has declared glyphosate as “probable” carcinogene to humans.
The commission will follow our legal obligation. We know very well that we have a deadline of June 30. We will adopt an extension for glyphosate of 18 months,” Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told a news conference.
The European Commission was left with no option but to extend the licence of glyphosate by 18 months after major member states-France, Germany and Italy-abstained from voting on the issue. The commission had proposed to extend the authorisation of glyphosate until the European Chemicals Agency could present its own assessment of the effects of the chemical.
Germany abstained from voting with its own government being split over the use of glyphosate. France’s environment minister Ségolène Royal had openly declared that the country would “hold firm against glyphosate”, but stayed away from the vote. Malta was the only country to vote against the proposal and those that voted in favour of the extension were not enough to fulfil the 55 per cent population threshold. With no clear decision, the commission had to go ahead with the extension.
Culled from downtoearth.org
Compiled by Safina Buhari