Top weedkillers face axe as EU may outlaw glyphosate

Garden centres could see top-selling weedkillers disappear from their shelves if the EU outlaws glyphosate, which is the principal consumer herbicide available.

The EU is set to ban 85 per cent of pesticides under its 91/414/EEC directive, according to the UK Pesticides Safety Directorate. This would mean up to 240 of 286 pesticide substances disappear from Europe's garden and horticulture markets.

Monsanto sells the systemic weedkiller glyphosate under various trade names such as Roundup, marketed by Scotts Miracle-Gro. Scotts managing director Martin Breddy said: "This loss would make gardening a new struggle. We fully support the Crop Protection Association proposal that approval of pesticides should be within a sustainable system of scientific and risk-based regulations."

HTA consultant David Brown said: "It would appear most European counterparts haven't woken up to it. The German trade is very worried and feel they must do something about it. All countries need to challenge the EU on what happens. I'm concerned that glyphosate will go. And that takes out the basis of every home and garden weedkiller."

Nursery consultant John Adlam said: "Glyphosate is not affected by the European Commission proposals but would be affected by European Parliament comparative assessment requirements. So it is still around at the moment but could go if the Parliament criteria was brought in."

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