EU countries approved on Monday [Nov. 27] the use of weed-killer glyphosate for the next five years after a heated debate over whether it causes cancer.
Diplomats said Germany swung the vote, coming off the fence after abstaining in previous meetings to oppose its key EU partner France, which wanted a shorter license extension.
The European Commission said in a statement that 18 countries had backed its proposal to renew the chemical’s license, with nine voting against and one abstaining, declaring this to be a “positive opinion”.
Europe has been wrestling for the past two years over what to do with the chemical, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling Roundup, whose license was set to expire on Dec. 15.
In theory, the Commission could have pushed through a license extension, but it said it wanted governments to make the call on an issue that has become so politically charged. After a series of indecisive votes, they finally produced a clear majority in favor of the Commission’s proposal.
“Today’s vote shows that when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making,” said health and food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EU backs five-year extension for weed-killer glyphosate