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Move to re-open Glyphosate case attacked by Conservative UK MEPs

Staff Writer |
Conservative MEPs condemned moves to re-open the decision to licence the world's most popular weed killer for use in the European Union.

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The European Parliament's Special Committee on Pesticides wants the issue to be reassessed just 12 months after Glyphosate was licensed for five years by Member States. The call is amongst a raft of recommendations produced by the temporary committee aimed at overhauling pesticide licensing system.

Conservative Agriculture Spokesman Anthea McIntyre said the proposal on Glyphosate was politically motivated, flew in the face of scientific evidence and would create further uncertainty for farmers.

She said: "The licence was renewed after Glyphosate was approved for use by both the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemical Agency, bodies set up and funded by the EU precisely to provide this kind of expert advice.

"Casting doubt on its immediate future once again makes it difficult for farmers to plan ahead and risks calling the EU's regulatory procedures into disrepute."

It is estimated that banning Glyphosate would cut UK production of winter wheat and winter barley by 12% and oil seed rape by 10%, costing the farming industry £940m a year. Its use also lessens the need for mechanical ploughing, reducing pollution and soil erosion. No biological alternatives are expected to be commercially available in the near future.

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