EU postpones decision to relicense glyphosate

The Greens want to ban glyphosate. Photo: Twitter

The European vote to relicense glyphosate, a key ingredient in herbicides such as Monsanto’s multibillion-dollar brand Roundup, is postponed. Several EU countries don’t agree with the European commission to re-approve the weedkiller linked to cancer by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The license for glyphosate runs out in June.

Glyphosate is not only killing weeds, but also contaminating water sources and poisoning the food chain. The Greens in the European Parliament plead for a EU ban. France, the Netherlands and Sweden have said they will not support an assessment by the European food safety authority (Efsa) that glyphosate is harmless.

The herbicide is so widely used that it is commonly found in British bread, German beer and also according to one study, in the urine of people in 18 countries across Europe. A new study in Germany shows that 99.6% of all Germans are contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate.

Glyphosate use has been banned or restricted in large parts of Europe because of alleged links to a host of health problems, ranging from birth defects and kidney failure to coeliac disease, colitis and autism. The decision of the new license is postponed because the European Commission realised they would not get enough support to relicense.