German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said on Thursday [Jan. 18] he could see no set date for an end to use of the controversial weed-killer glyphosate in Germany.
Schmidt caused international controversy and a major row in Germany’s government coalition in November by unexpectedly backing a European Union Commission proposal to permit use of glyphosate for the next five years despite a heated debate over whether it causes cancer.
Schmidt’s vote effectively allowed the extension in glyphosate use in the face of opposition from France and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany’s government coalition.
A provisional blueprint for talks for a new government coalition in Germany agreed in January calls for systematically and significantly limiting glyphosate use with the aim of entirely ending use as quickly as possible.
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, a member of SPD, has called for an end to glyphosate use in the current four-year parliament.
[Schmidt] said alternatives to glyphosate must be found first, which he said could involve new forms of weed-killers or new methods of farming.