“We understand that the European Commission has confirmed it will extend the licence of glyphosate for a period of 18 months, said Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association, speaking on Wednesday June 29th. “It is disappointing that Member States have forced the Commission into this position by ignoring the science and advice of expert regulators. The indecision of Member States and the need for an extension demonstrates how politicised this process has become. Nevertheless, it will be a relief to farmers that they will be able to continue to use this crucial tool, at least in the short-term.
“Given that the extensive evaluation carried out by the relevant EU authorities, and over 40 years of robust scientific evidence has confirmed that glyphosate poses no risk to human health and that there is no cancer or endocrine disruptor risk, the standard 15 year renewal should have been granted.
“The expiration of the approval at the end of June would have had serious consequences for UK farmers who rely on glyphosate as a cornerstone of sustainable, productive agriculture. Whilst that situation has been averted for now, we urge Member States to take the sensible, science led decision to re-licence this safe, efficient and effective product for the full 15 year period once the 18 month extension has expired.
“Failure to re-licence glyphosate would be contrary to the science, provide no benefit to human health, wildlife or the environment and at the same time remove one of the key tools our farmers need to produce a safe, healthy, reliable and affordable supply of food,” he said.