France set to oppose glyphosate renewal

France will vote against a proposal by the EU Commission to renew the licence for glyphosate, a government source has said.

The French government source said: "France will vote against a re-authorisation of glyphosate for 10 years given the uncertainties that persist with regard to its dangerousness."

The opposition of France could block obtaining the qualified majority of EU member states needed to renew the licence.

The EU is scheduled to vote on the matter at meeting of a panel of experts on October 4, and the opposition of France could mean there won't be a sufficient majority in favour of renewing the licence.

France has already decided to ban pesticides for public use.

There has been a long debate about whether glyphosate is carcinogenic, however the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), have concluded glyphosate is safe for use.

The Crop Protection Association says the European Commission should "reauthorise glyphosate for the standard 15-year period". In June 2016, the EC approved glyphosate use within the EU for a maximum of 18 months, rather than the usual 15 years.

CPA CEO Sarah Mukherjee said: "These reported comments are at odds with the robust body of scientific evidence and the opinion of expert regulators around the world, backed by 40 years of use, which clearly demonstrates that glyphosate is safe.

"The loss of this vital tool would not only impact on the ability of farmers to provide healthy, safe and affordable food, but also have unintended environmental consequences through limiting farmers ability to use no till methods.

"We are calling on decision-makers to continue to support an evidence-based approach to policy-making. Glyphosate is essential and without it UK agriculture as we know it would not exist."

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