The Crop Protection Association said that the EC standing committee was set to potentially vote on reauthorising glyphosate in October.
Defra minister George Eustice has indicated he will support a renewal, while the French government has suggested it will not. German federal elections on 24 September could make a difference to the way the Germans vote. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term, has backed glyphosate but has not found enough support in her coalition government. German and French farmers have called for a renewal.
On March 15 2017, The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)'s Committee for Risk Assessment
announced it had finished its review of the available scientific evidence and reached the conclusion that
glyphosate is not a carcinogen and does not cause genetic or reproductive effects.
A decision on the reauthorisation of glyphosate is due to be made by the European Commission before the end of 2017.
The NFU has welcomed the conclusions of the European Chemicals Agency. It said: "The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that glyphosate poses no risk to human health when used correctly. This opinion is shared by regulatory bodies around the world, including the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and the European Food Safety Authority.
"Now that ECHA has released its classification there can be no reason why glyphosate should not be re-
authorised for a further 15 years when the European Commission makes its decision later this year. We
will continue to work with our members and with other European farming unions to ensure the facts
about glyphosate’s safety and importance are heard in the run-up to that decision."
Meanwhile, the European Food Safety Agency on Friday defended its report on glyphosate, refuting press reports accusing it of reproducing arguments from pesticide manufacturers, including the US group Monsanto.
EFSA said: "These statements are yet another attempt to create doubts about the assessment made by EU experts." EFSA's report served as a basis for the European Commission to recommend re-authorization of glyphosate for 10 years in the EU.
The Italian daily La Stampa, The Guardian and French radio RMC reports claim a crucial part of EFSA's report appears to be copying/pasting a document filed in 2012 by Monsanto on behalf of the Glyphosate Task Force - a consortium of companies marketing glyphosate-based products in Europe.
However, Efsa said the documents mentioned by the media are not part of the Efsa report, but the notes provided by the rapporteur Member State to the agency in this file.
In addition, references to the Glyphosate Task Force "are excerpts" of "available studies" and "references" to these studies, submitted by "candidates" to the renewal of the glyphosate license, clearly identified as such.
Crop Protection Association chief executive Sarah Mukherjee said: "It is encouraging to see EFSA continuing to support the science and not accepting deliberate attempts to mislead the media and public with accusations of plagiarism. In fact, EFSA acted in full compliance with EU legislation.
"The literature review is a collection of published studies from different authors, provided by industry, as legally required by the EU. This is then reproduced in a summary of scientific knowledge used for context during the assessment process. It is not reprinted in EFSA’s final scientific assessment of glyphosate.
"That scientific assessment is consistent with the findings of expert regulators across the globe - that glyphosate is safe for human health and the environment."