The European Commission and the 27 EU member states failed yet again last week to agree on the proposal for a five-year extension for glyphosate.
A vote on the proposal a meeting on Thursday of the Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed failed to a reach a qualified majority.
A proposal will now be submitted to an appeal committee by the end of November. If there is no qualified majority this time, the Commission itself will be faced with finally deciding the issue before glyphosate’s license expires on 15 December.
Fourteen countries, including the UK and Ireland, were reported to having voted in favour of the extension, with nine against and five, including Germany, abstaining. At last month’s Committee meeting, 16 states voted in favour. France, which voted against and wants a total ban on glyphosate, said it would support a three-year extension.
Luxembourg’s Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg tweeted that the result was a “good outcome for our health and environment”.
Meanwhile, a UK company is ramping up its campaign to promote electro-thermal weeding as the future of weed control in the absence of glyphosate.
RootWave technology from Warwickshire-based Ubiqutek delivers a high-voltage shock to weeds, killing them ‘systemically’ back to the roots by heating plant tissues to lethal temperatures. Because of the high voltages involved and need for safety training, the technology is designed for professional use only in agriculture and horticulture. It can be driven by a generator or from the mains.
The company had not responded by this week’s deadline to GTN Xtra’s enquiry about the suitability of the technology for development as a tool for the gardening market.
However, Hozelock entered the thermal weeding market earlier this year with something similar. The company’s mains-operated Green Power Thermal Weeder (pictured) delivers a thermal shock of 600C to control weeds on driveways, paths and patios via a push-button start. It carries an SRP of £119.99 but appears to be widely available from online retailers from around £60.