EU postpones re-approval of glyphosate after objections from four states
The EU has postponed its decision to renew the licence for glyphosate, the active ingredient in many garden weedkillers, after opposition from France, Holland, Italy and Sweden.
The licence, which expires at the end of June, was expected to be extended this week for another 15 years, even though the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had raised doubts by classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
The European Chemicals Agency’s investigation into the wider human health effects of glyphosate will not be completed until later next year.
A spokesman for Monsanto, the manufacturers of glyphosate, said it was not unusual for a decision to be postponed when doubts were raised. Approval could still be given within weeks.
Even if approval is given, pressure from consumer groups is still likely. In France, garden chemicals must be sold from locked cabinets from 2017 and will be banned from sale from 2019.