The use of glyphosate was approved in the EU for ten years

Despite the fact that glyphosate in the EU is one of the most controversial herbicides among environmentalists, the European Commission decided to extend the approval of glyphosate for another 10 years.

The approval comes after 55% of member states, representing 65% of the EU population, gave their consent. France, Germany and Italy, the three largest agricultural countries, abstained. The current license will expire on December 15.

In a statement issued in Brussels, the EC said: "The Commission, in cooperation with EU Member States, will extend the approval of glyphosate for a period of 10 years, subject to a number of conditions and deadlines of the new regime".

When an absolute majority is not achieved, current regulations force the European Commission to make a decision that everyone else is obliged to follow. In this case, the approval of the herbicide was facilitated by the Food Safety Agency, which, unlike the World Health Organization (WHO), which considers it carcinogenic, the ASA has indicated that glyphosate is not a "critical area of ​​concern", except when used to dry crops before harvest.

This clause was one of the changes introduced in the existing permit, which from December 2023 prohibits its use to dry crops before harvest along with the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms.

France's position regarding the renewal of glyphosate in the EU

France does not oppose the renewal of the permit for the use of glyphosate in the EU, stated the French Ministry of Agriculture. However, the leading European agricultural power made it clear that "wants to quickly limit and regulate the use of this herbicide, reduce its impact and replace it with other solutions when possible".

During the debate, the French government asked the Commission to introduce "stricter restrictions on the use of glyphosate"and presented several proposals."France regrets that the Commission has not accepted these proposals", concluded the ministry.

What is glyphosate?

It is a broad-spectrum herbicide intended to kill grasses and shrubs, especially perennials. One of the most controversial issues is that it is absorbed through the leaves and not the roots. This means it can be sprayed on leaves, injected into stems and stems, or sprayed on tree stumps as a forestry herbicide.

Last year, experts from the French Pesticide Victims Compensation Fund observed a causal link between birth defects and maternal exposure to glyphosate during pregnancy. The family received compensation and notification in October in the hope that it would influence future Commission decisions.

Environmentalists are up in arms

"Glyphosate is one of the cornerstones of intensive agriculture and there is enormous pressure on both the agriculture ministries of the member states and the European Commission."Martin Dermine explained to the French radio station Rfi.

The director of the non-governmental Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in Europe added: “It has been shown that the majority of Europeans are exposed to glyphosate on a daily basis, including in agricultural areas and through pesticide residues in food. "Other studies have confirmed that the effect of glyphosate through food causes certain toxicity, in the long term it can cause cancer."

Dermmin condemns that the only objective of the European Commission is "promote and maintain industrial agriculture, which is toxic to people and the environment"Despite criticism, glyphosate in the EU will remain the herbicide of choice for the next ten years.

Responsibility of each government

However, the decision to use glyphosate at the national level remains in the hands of each government.

Governments will also need to establish maximum application rates based on these risk assessments and risk mitigation measures to ensure protection of non-target organisms and the environment.

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