BRUSSELS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Glyphosate Task Force (GTF) notes that the European Commission, in the interest of avoiding an expiration of the current European authorisation for glyphosate, has approved a proposal to extend the current approval period by another 18 months, until the end of 2017. A sudden expiration of the approval would have entailed serious consequences for European farmers, who rely on glyphosate as a reliable and effective tool for weed management and the protection of crop yields.
Considering the extensive scientific evaluation carried out by the relevant EU agencies which concluded that glyphosate poses no unacceptable risks either to human health or to the environment, the renewal should have been a straightforward process resulting in a standard 15-year renewal.
A proposal to extend the current approval for limited period of time was not supported by a sufficient number of Member States. “The antagonism which has emerged from certain Member States regarding glyphosate renewal is highly regrettable and a sad sign of how politically charged these processes have become” said GTF Chairman Richard Garnett.
The proposal to extend the current approval, rather than adopting a re-authorisation of glyphosate for another 15 years, sets an unwelcome precedent. It is clear that certain Member States are no longer basing their positions on scientific evidence, which is meant to be the guiding principle of the process, as emphasised recently by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis in press conference or by Vice-President Timmermans at the European Parliament.