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EU Parliament reaches glyphosate compromise

Staff writer |
EU MEPs have agreed to compromise approval terms for glyphosate, after the off-patent, broadleaf herbicide became embroiled in debates over transparency and threats to public health.

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At the Parliamentary plenary meeting, MEPs agreed to support a renewal of glyphosate for seven years, instead of the 15 proposed by the Commission, and said its use should be restricted to agriculture professionals only (preventing use in public parks and gardens), “Given concerns about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide.”

MEPs also called for an independent review and the publication of all the scientific evidence that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate, after differing conclusions on the carcinogenicity of the herbicide between EFSA and the World Health Organisation’s cancer research arm (IARC) led to a spat between prominent scientists last year.

Scrutiny of this stand-off has led to something of a climb-down from EFSA this year; the EU watchdog has promised to look at active ingredients as they are found on the market in future (a similar approach to that used by IARC), rather than in isolation, as was the case in its 2015 assessment of glyphosate.

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