Glyphosate, lobby wins: EU proposes 10-year extension to continue its use

The European Commission has proposed a ten-year extension of the use of glyphosate in the European Union, based on the findings of the EFSA that the herbicide is safe.

Bad news is coming regarding glyphosate. Already in July, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the conclusions of the joint risk assessment carried out on the controversial herbicide, where it declared “did not highlight any areas of critical concern“. Read also: The GLPHOSATE lobby has won! For EFSA, it is not dangerous and opens the way for the renewal of the most debated herbicide in the world

From words to actions. Now The European Commission proposed a ten-year extension of the use of glyphosate in the European Union (EU). The decision was taken precisely on the basis of what EFSA declared, but it is now up to EU member states and the European Parliament to decide whether to approve it.

However, the European Commission presents some restriction of pesticide use (according to ecologists, definitely insufficient) such as

  • prohibition of crop drying (a common practice for large grain producers)
  • establishing buffer zones of at least 5-10 meters in the fields to limit dispersion into the environment
  • ensure a reduction or even better a complete ban on pesticides containing glyphosate in public parks and gardens

The proposal for enlargement will be assessed by EU member states on September 22, e.g a vote on the issue is scheduled for October 13. Approval requires the consent of a qualified majority of member states, i.e. 65% of the EU states, which represent at least 55% of the population.

Therefore, we may still have a distant hope that things will not go in the direction proposed by the European Commission.

We remind you that glyphosate is a substance widely used in many herbicides and herbicides, but it has been at the center of controversy since 2015, when IARC has classified it as “probably carcinogenic” to humans.

The authorization for use of glyphosate in the EU expired in December 2022, but was then temporarily extended pending an evaluation by EFSA and ECHA. A power we now intend to extend.

However, the Commission’s decision drew mixed reactions. Pascal Canfin, Chairman of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, criticized the proposal, claiming it was based on a violation of scientific advice.

An EU official later revealed that up to 17 member states had raised technical questions about the decision. In the past, some countries, including France and Luxembourg, have even considered imposing restrictions on the use of products containing glyphosate.

However, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called on the Commission to ban the herbicide, highlighting potential risks to human health, biodiversity and agriculture.

According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted in six EU countries, only 14% of citizens supported expanding the use of glyphosate, demonstrating growing public concern about the chemical’s safety.

But now all we have to do is wait, we will soon know the decision of the EU countries on glyphosate.

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