The move follows a third failed attempt by EU member states to reach an agreement on whether to authorize glyphosate. Yesterday (6 June) 20 member states voted in favour of extending the weedkiller's license for 12-18 months, while Malta voted against the proposal. Seven countries (France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Luxembourg, Germany and Portugal) abstained from the vote. This meant the vote did not reach a qualified majority and no decision was made.
The EU's College of Commissioners met today to discuss the way forward, and agreed to take the vote on 23 June to an appeals committee made up of representatives from member states.
If the committee cannot achieve a qualified majority (more than 55 per cent of states in agreement, representing more than 65 per cent of the EU's population) the European Commission could in theory choose to extend the license on its own.
Richard Garnett, chairman of the Glyphosate Task Force, representing manufacturers such as Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences and Syngenta, said: "The indecision among member states and the need for an extension are highly regrettable and a sad sign of how politically charged the glyphosate renewal process has become."