In This Issue
Glyphosate: back on a knife edge
Stax further invest in supply chain with PDS logistics acquisition
Handy prepare to launch new McCulloch 58v cordless range of garden machinery for Husqvarna Group
Squire’s given ‘Best Garden Centre’ accolade by The Express
Bunnings - Homebase - sales drop by £44m
Broomstick flying, storytelling and pumpkins sell out at Planters
Haskins Snowhill plans get go-ahead despite Green Belt fears
Storm Brian wreaks havoc with garden centre trading
Paul Hilliam appointed Christchurch Stewarts manager
Wildcats skate to success at Whitehall
More Australian seaweed sets sail for Mr Fothergill’s
Decco appointed retail distributor for Husqvarna
Vital Earth launch SupaGrow as they split from Bord Na Mona
Wyevale Garden Centres invest in new EPOS
Scholarship applications open for future horticulturalists
Calibrachoa PinkTastic is People's Choice in Wisley trial
Writtle student wins garden design awards at Seoul show
New favourites launched in ‘Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball’ Collection
Norfolk garden centre raises £10k for cancer patients
The Pied Piper of Melville - GTN's interview with Nicholas Marshall
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Garden lighting products blown off course
Seaweed fertiliser enables expansion into the UK for Irish Company
Speed buying event at Longacres
Fat balls produce some sales growth
Smart Garden Products appoints new Trade Marketing Manager
Sweet success for Christmas
Barrus announce new sales appointments in the Garden Divisions
Wallflowers stand up to high winds
The best of last week's
MEP's vote to ban glyphosate completely by 2022
Bunnings to test smaller format stores in urban areas
Bents open Winter Food Market in Open Skies
New £1 million garden centre creates 25 jobs
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Glyphosate: back on a knife edge

The long-term future of domestic weedkillers containing glyphosate is back on a knife-edge following last Wednesday’s decision by the EU Commission to defer a definitive vote on a proposed 10-year re-approval of the chemical, just weeks before the current licence runs out.


Glyphosate, the active ingredient in best-selling Roundup and a number of other systemic weedkillers that kill weeds back to the roots, is an important herbicide for gardeners and farmers, but it was deemed “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisations’s cancer agency (IARC), leading to a review by the EU Commission. Monsanto, the manufacturers of glyphosate, have consistently challenged IARC’s findings and the European Food Standards Agency has concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.


After two years of debate, the European Parliament last week called for glyphosate to be phased out by 2022. Twenty-four hours later, the EU Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants and Animals Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) – Europe’s policy makers and administrators – failed to reach a concensus on a proposal for a 10-year extension to glyphosate’s licence, which runs out on 15 December. An ‘indicative vote’ (like an informal show of hands) suggested that a shorter period of relicensing (closer to the five years called for by MEPs, perhaps) might get support – so the matter will now be considered yet again by the 28 member states before another vote by SCoPAFF some time in November. Meanwhile, the deadline looms…


The UK was one of 16 governments who said they would have voted in favour of the 10-year extension – but 10 were against it. Germany and Portugal abstained, with the result that member support for the plan reached only 47%, short of a qualified majority.


According to the UK’s Agriculture Industries Federation, the Commission will now consider lowering the approval period and sound out member states before putting a new proposal to the vote.


Last week's votes clearly bring the prospect a of a ban closer, but observers believe it is far from a fait accompli.


Darren Brown, head of the UK and Ireland division of SBM Life Science, who sell glyphosate products, told GTN Xtra: "We will roll with any changes because we have both natural and synthetic products, but we  support the industry view that what we need is science-based legislation representing a balanced view after considering all the evidence. We were glad to see the UK's support for the re-approval this week, in line with most other member states - which gives us cause for optimism."


Monsanto and Westland Horticulture had not responded to GTN's request for comment before this edition was finalised.


This article in New Scientist makes interesting reading: Ban on weedkiller glyphosate won’t save anyone from cancer


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