The use of the pesticide Glyphosate is a subject of intense debate. The EU Commission is now considering extending the approval of this weedkiller for another ten years, though Germany plans to phase out Glyphosate.
According to the EU Commission's proposal, Glyphosate's controversial approval could be extended for an additional decade. The draft will be discussed with EU member states on Friday.
A spokesperson for the EU Commission stated that their proposal is based on scientifically substantiated information. The documents outline specific conditions for its use, including risk reduction measures, such as preventing Glyphosate from being heavily dispersed during application.
Glyphosate is currently approved for use in the EU until December 15, 2023. Environmental organizations have raised concerns about Glyphosate's potential dangers to human health and the environment, while the manufacturer, Bayer, disputes these claims.
In late July, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an investigation highlighting data gaps in various areas but did not find unacceptable risks associated with Glyphosate. Aspects that remained unresolved included potential risks to consumers due to diet, the evaluation of risks to aquatic plants, and potential impacts on species protection.
Glyphosate is the world's best-selling herbicide, considered likely carcinogenic, and linked to biodiversity loss.
A coalition of environmental organizations had submitted a petition titled "Glyphosate Ban Now" to the German Ministry of Agriculture, calling on Environment Minister Lemke and Agriculture Minister Özdemir to vote against the reauthorization of Glyphosate in the upcoming EU vote.
Cem Özdemir stated, "As long as it cannot be ruled out that Glyphosate harms biodiversity, its approval in the EU should expire." He plans to consult with partners in the EU regarding this matter.
Germany is considering banning Glyphosate starting in early 2024, according to its coalition agreement. Even if EU-level approval is extended, it may still be prohibited in the country.
CDU agricultural expert Norbert Lins views the Commission's proposal as a significant step for agriculture, emphasizing that Glyphosate has been thoroughly examined. In contrast, Green Party member Jutta Paulus criticizes the potential extension, expressing concern about the health of millions of Europeans. Angeliki Lysimachou of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe adds that industry interests seem to take precedence over health and the environment.
ÖKO-TEST, a consumer magazine, calls the ongoing debate over an EU-wide Glyphosate ban a tragic situation. Germany's plan to ban Glyphosate from 2024 is seen as a positive step, but if the pesticide remains allowed elsewhere in Europe, it will still end up in imported foods. A decision on the extension in the relevant committee, including EU member state representatives, is not expected until mid-October.
MORE INFO ON www.oekotest.de (Automatically translated from German)