EU countries have delayed a decision on whether or not to reauthorize the use of copper compounds — chemical substances widely used as pesticides in the organic food sector, two officials said.
A decision on approving the substances, which are used by organic growers across the food chain and widely in the wine industry, has split organic campaigners against pesticide companies such as Monsanto who note that the copper-based chemicals are toxic and pose risks for workers.
The European Food Safety Authority said last year that the use of copper sulfates on crops poses a number of risks, including to people who work directly with the chemical. Vineyard workers, in particular, were mentioned by the European Food Safety Authority as being particularly vulnerable.
[A] final vote on the matter will likely take place in November. Licenses approving the substances run out in January.
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