European Union governments have failed to reach a consensus regarding the proposal to extend the EU’s license for the use of glyphosate for an additional 10 years.

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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Bayer AG’s (BAYGn.DE) Roundup herbicide. To either support or reject the proposal, a “qualified majority” of at least 15 countries representing at least 65% of the block’s population was required. However, the European Commission announced in a statement that a qualified majority was not achieved in either direction during the vote conducted by a committee consisting of the EU’s 27 members last Friday.

The proposal will be voted on again in early November. In the event of no clear consensus, the decision will be left to the European Commission. The decision must be made by December 14th, as the current approval expires the following day.

When the glyphosate license was last renewed, the EU granted a five-year extension after EU countries failed to support a 10-year period on two occasions.

The decision must be made by December 14th, as the current approval expires the following day

In 2015, World Health Organization’s cancer research agency concluded that glyphosate was possibly carcinogenic to humans. The Pesticides Action Network argues that there are serious doubts about safety assessments, and a majority of citizens surveyed in six EU countries believe glyphosate should be banned.

Meanwhile, Bayer has asserted that several studies have demonstrated its safety, and the chemical has been widely used by farmers for decades, as well as for weed control along railways. The company announced on Friday that a clear majority of EU countries had voted in favor of the proposal and expressed hope that enough additional countries would support it in the next stage of the approval process.

Source: EU countries fail to agree on extending glyphosate approval (Reuters)

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