France to vote against 5-year European Union renewal of glyphosate herbicide

Five-year glyphosate extension has been approved today by Member States

European Union countries broke months of deadlock on Monday when they voted to renew the licence for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate for five years after heavyweight Germany surprisingly voted in favour despite health concerns.

Just two weeks after the European Commission failed to secure a majority, an intervention on Monday meant 18 of 28 EU states were now in favour and glyphosate was granted a new five-year licence.

Germany put its weight behind the extension, a move that divided the caretaker government in Berlin and could have repercussions on Chancellor Angela Merkel's negotiations to form a grand coalition between her conservative bloc and the center-left Socialist Democrats.

"This is Black Monday for health", French European Parliament deputy Yannick Jadot told BFM TV.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he has asked the French government to look for alternative pesticides and ban glyphosate in France within three years.


Controversial herbicide glyphosate licensed for five more years in European Union, despite France's opposition, according to an European Union official.

But the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency both say glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans, in line with a 2016 review carried out by World Health Organization experts and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. It also reduces the need for ploughing, which benefits the environment and enables farmers to apply no tillage, which reduces soil erosion, and keeps soil organic matters up.

Glyphosate has been used by farmers for more than 40 years but its use was cast in doubt when WHO's cancer agency said in 2015 it probably causes cancer.

"Anyone who is interested in developing trust between two parties can not behave that way", she said.

Banning glyphosate outright would have shaken Europe's agriculture sector, since it is so widely used.

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