The European Commission (EC) announced this Thursday that it will renew for a period of ten years the authorization for the use of glyphosate, which expired on December 15, after the member states of the community club were not able to reach an agreement on for or against the acceptance or prohibition of the controversial herbicide.
On October 13, the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Scopaff) voted on the Commission's proposal to renew the use of glyphosate for ten years, but the necessary majority was not reached. to approve or reject the initiative.
For this reason, this Thursday the proposal was voted on again in an Appeals Committee, where the countries of the European Union, once again, "did not reach the qualified majority required to renew or reject the approval of glyphosate," according to the EC. it's a statement.
In this context, it is up to the European Commission to make the final decision and today it announced that it will renew the authorization to use glyphosate for ten years.
"In line with EU law and in the absence of the required majority in either direction (for or against), the Commission is now obliged to adopt a decision by December 15, 2023, when the current approval period expires "of glyphosate, detailed the community Executive.
"The Commission, based on comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), together with EU Member States, will now proceed to renew the approval of glyphosate by a period of ten years, subject to certain new conditions and restrictions," Brussels added.
Those restrictions include a ban on the use of glyphosate as a desiccant before harvest and the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms from using the chemical.
Although the Commission announced that it will renew the authorization of glyphosate for a decade in the European Union, it recalled that Member States are responsible for the national authorizations of plant protection products containing glyphosate.
Therefore, each EU country will continue to have the option to restrict its use at national and regional level if it considers it necessary "based on the outcome of risk assessments, taking into account in particular the need to protect biodiversity," he recalled. the EC.
Products containing glyphosate are mainly used in agriculture and horticulture against brushwood, which damages crops.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in 2015 about the carcinogenic risks of glyphosate, the European Food Safety Agency and the European Chemicals Agency later claimed to have scientific evidence to classify the herbicide as non-carcinogenic.
Thus, after two years of controversy, Monsanto's herbicide glyphosate received approval in 2017 to continue being used in the EU, although for a shorter period than normal, five years, instead of the normal 15, and the year After that license was renewed once again until December 15, pending a report from the EFSA.
That European agency concluded last July that the level of risk does not justify the ban, as long as the use of the pesticide is accompanied by measures that mitigate the health of humans, animals and the environment, although the report admitted that some issues could not be evaluated.
With that report in hand, the Community Executive proposed last September to renew the glyphosate license in the EU for another decade, but with "strict conditions."
Greenpeace activist Eva Corral said in a statement today that the science is "clear" that glyphosate is "toxic to health and the environment" and added that it is "time" for Europe to show that it is "committed to protecting its citizens and moving towards a glyphosate-free future.
The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) urged the EC to withdraw its proposal given "the amount of scientific evidence certifying serious health impacts" of glyphosate.
From that organization, Natacha Cingotti considered it "unacceptable" that Brussels is going to go ahead with the extension.