European Commission extends glyphosate authorization

European Commission extends glyphosate authorization

Decision comes after member nations couldn't reach agreement; research continues into whether glyphosate causes cancer.

The European Commission announced Tuesday it will re-extend authorization for glyphosate for another 18 months.

ASA President and Greenwood, Del., soybean farmer Richard Wilkins said in a statement that the announcement comes as only temporary relief for American farmers searching for certainty in the European marketplace.

Related: EPA releases, then pulls, report on glyphosate

“An 18-month extension gives U.S. farmers and exporters the assurance that they will at least have access to the European market for that period of time,” Wilkins said. “Clearly that’s not the certainty the industry needs, but it’s better than nothing. That said, we are still extraordinarily frustrated by the unscientific approach in the EU. Remember, the European Food Safety Authority found that glyphosate is safe. Given this repeatedly proven fact, it’s a relief that the Commission decided to step in and issue this reauthorization, even after the Council of Ministers was unable to find the support among its members to affirm the EFSA finding. Continued progress is needed, however. A logical and welcomed next step will be for the EU to finalize approval of the three pending biotech varieties. With that approval, our farmers can move forward with the certainty they need.”

Related: WHO cancer group suggests glyphosate is ‘probable carcinogen’

The European Commission announced in May it was going to seek a nine-year renewal of the license for glyphosate instead of the usual 15 because of concerns the herbicide may cause cancer.

Related: Another organization says glyphosate “unlikely to pose carcinogenic risk”

In June, European Union governments split over a plan to keep glyphosate on the market at least 12 months pending a study of whether the chemical causes cancer. The split gave the European Commission the power to decide whether to extend the license for 12 to 18 months.

Source: American Soybean Association

TAGS: Soybean
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