Decisive vote due on glyphosate usage in the EU as Parliament urges ban

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotogigi85
© GettyImages/fotogigi85

Related tags European parliament Eu

Members of the European Parliament at the Strasbourg plenary this morning backed a proposal to phase out glyphosate in the EU within five years.

The MEPs opposed a 10-year extension on the controversial herbicide, instead voting for limitations on its use from 2018 and an outright ban by the end of 2022.

They voted 355 in favour of the ban, 204 against and 111 abstentions were recorded.

The EU risk assessment process before renewing the substance’s licence was mired in controversy, as the UN cancer agency​ and EU food safety and chemicals agencies​came to different conclusions regarding its safety.

However, the EU farming lobby, represented by Copa-Cogeca in Brussels, has urged the EU to approve glyphosate for the customary 15 years instead of the 10-year re-authorization period proposed now.

EU member states are set to vote on the renewal of the glyphosate licence in the EU for another 10 years tomorrow.

France reportedly opposes the renewal, while the UK, the Netherlands and Spain have argued that glyphosate is critical as crop yields will drop significantly without it.

Therefore, there may not be a qualified majority in the vote tomorrow – such an outcome requires at least 16 member states support the proposal, along with a representation of 65% of the European population.

EU petition 

A European Citizen’s initiative calling for a ban on the herbicide reached more than a million signatures in less than a year, for which there will be a public hearing in Parliament in November.

The Strasbourg vote was greeted with enthusiasm in some quarters today: 


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