Glyphosate: EU extends approval of weed killer

Glyphosate: EU extends approval of weed killer

Glyphosate may be used in the EU for another ten years. Because the EU states did not agree on whether they supported this or not, the decision could be made by an EU authority alone.

The approval of the controversial weed killer glyphosate will be extended by ten years in the EU. However, there will be new requirements and restrictions, the EU Commission announced in Brussels on Thursday. The current approval would have expired in mid-December.

Previously, in an EU appeals committee, neither enough representatives of the EU states spoke out for or against further use of the drug. The EU Commission was then able to make a decision on its own.

Dispute over glyphosate approval due to health and environmental aspects

Among other things, there is controversy about whether glyphosate could be carcinogenic. There are also dangers for the environment. A complex investigation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently found no unacceptable dangers, but did point to data gaps in several areas.

According to Efsa, the aspects that have not been conclusively clarified include nutritional risks for consumers and the assessment of risks for aquatic plants. With regard to species protection, the available information did not allow any clear conclusions to be drawn.

Glyphosate is also known as a total herbicide; it causes plants to die. Where glyphosate is sprayed, grass, bushes or moss no longer grows. The product is primarily used in agriculture to keep a field free of weeds before crops are sown.

Note: An earlier version stated that EU representatives had not yet reached an agreement. The article has been updated several times.

Source: Stern

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