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The European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) postponed, for the second time, a vote on 25 October 2017 to renew the license for the herbicide glyphosate.
The EU’s executive body was expected to propose extending the approval of the active substance for between five and seven years, shorter than the 10-year extension it had originally planned. The proposal for a shorter renewal came after the EU Parliament and several powerful member states, including Germany and France, put pressure on the Commission to abandon its original plan.
A day earlier, at its plenary session of 24 October 2017, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution urging the Commission to withdraw its draft legislation renewing the approval of glyphosate and to introduce a gradual phase-out over five years of the widely used herbicide.
Glyphosate became steeped in controversy in 2015 when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded it was a probable carcinogen. Since that time, however, both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have concluded in their own studies that there is no link to cancer in humans.
The European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed is now scheduled to take a decision 9 November 2017 on whether or not to renew approval of glyphosate use for five years. The current approval of glyphosate expires on 15 December 2017.