EUROPE, May 24, 2017 - The European Commission, the European Union’s governing arm, plans to restart discussions with EU member states on renewing the authorization of glyphosate for 10 years, five years less than the usual authorization for crop protection chemicals. The herbicide, the most widely used in the world, is found in Roundup and other products. An EC spokesperson told Agri-Pulse that the commission will work with the 28 member states “to find a solution that enjoys the largest possible support and ensures a high level of protection of human health and the environment.” The authorization to use glyphosate expires at the end of this year.

The proposal pleased neither the crop protection industry nor environmentalists in Europe, however. The European Crop Protection Association called it “a short-sighted decision that undermines science and the EU approval process” and is “a victory for the ‘Facebook science’ of activists.” The EU Socialists and Democrats, however, criticized the proposal for being based on what they said were largely unpublished studies and highlighted the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer finding that it probably causes cancer in humans. That 2015 study, however, has been contradicted by conclusions of numerous other organizations, including the European Chemicals Agency and the European Food Safety Authority, both of which determined that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.