Climate warning
Image of European Commission

European Commission

Climate warning

Pesticides: The glyphosate dispute is now really starting The approval of the pesticide is to be extended by ten years

Pesticides: The glyphosate dispute is now really starting The approval of the pesticide is to be extended by ten years. This is what the EU Commission is proposing. This was probably a good day for the chemical company Bayer. The active ingredient glyphosate is to be approved in the EU for another ten years. This is what the EU Commission's draft regulation published on Wednesday provides. There are different opinions about whether this is a good day for people, animals and the environment. No other pesticide has been and continues to be debated so fiercely. Glyphosate is a so-called broad-spectrum herbicide. It destroys all green plants - unless they are genetically modified so that the poison cannot harm them. No other pesticide is used so frequently in the world, writes the Munich Environmental Institute on its website. Since its introduction in 1974, the worldwide annual use volume has increased by a factor of 265 to more than 800,000 tons, according to US data from the Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture. Around 90 percent would be used in agriculture. According to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, almost 4,100 tons of glyphosate were sold in Germany in 2021. The studies are contradictory when it comes to the dangers of glyphosate. The World Health Organization's cancer agency (WHO) classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic" in 2015, but other WHO institutions and research associations came to the opposite conclusion. At the end of July, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a study in which it found no unacceptable risks, only data gaps. For the investigation, Efsa said it looked at thousands of studies and scientific articles over a three-year process. It remains to be seen whether the Member States will follow the Commission's proposal. The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, or SCoPAFF in EU jargon, will discuss it this Friday. The committee will vote on the draft regulation on October 13th. A qualified majority is needed, which means: 55 percent of the member states must agree, which in turn must represent 65 percent of the EU population. If there is no qualified majority for or against, the Commission can appeal. If this doesn't produce any results either, the EU Commission can decide alone. The process should be completed by December 15th, because then the approval of glyphosate expires. Because of the unclear majority in the Council of Member States, the Commission had already extended the approval of glyphosate by one year on its own initiative last autumn. The reasoning at the time: Because of the extensive study available, additional time was needed to make a decision about an extension. With the huge effort involved, the EU Commission is now justifying that approval should be extended this time for ten years instead of five years, as in 2017. At that time, the German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) gave the German vote contrary to the original agreement, although the SPD-led Environment Ministry abstained from voting. The traffic light coalition agreement states that they definitely want to remove glyphosate from the German market at the end of 2023. Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir announced on Wednesday: As long as it cannot be ruled out that glyphosate harms biodiversity, the approval in the EU should expire. “A diverse and intact flora and fauna is the prerequisite for secure harvests today and in ten, 20 or 50 years,” says Özdemir. However, they would not decide alone whether glyphosate should be taken off the market. "That's why we are in intensive discussions with our partners in the EU about this." While the EU Commission decides on the approval of the active ingredient, the individual member states are responsible for the approval of the respective products. The Commission's draft gives member states many options for limiting the use of glyphosate. For example, the protection of groundwater and threats to biodiversity are mentioned. It is unclear whether that is enough to ban products generally. In Germany, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is responsible for approving pesticides. According to its database, almost 60 products containing the active ingredient glyphosate are currently approved in Germany.

Do you agree?

23 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Patrik Lobergh

    38 w

    This is a very serious issue, glyphosate is killing our biodiversity and thereby our food production!

    • Esther Wanjiku

      38 w

      This glyphosate issue should really face proper regulation

      • Tabitha Kimani

        38 w

        There should be a concrete conclusion on the use of glyphosate.

        • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

          38 w

          The debate over glyphosate is emblematic of the complexities in regulating pesticides. The EU's proposal to extend its approval by ten years raises concerns about its potential impact on health and the environment. The contradictory studies on its dangers highlight the need for rigorous assessment and precautionary measures. Decisions on glyphosate should prioritize safety and sustainability. 🌿🔍 #GlyphosateDebate #PesticideRegulation #SafetyFirst


          Write a comment...

          Write a climate review

          Voice your opinion on how businesses and organizations impact the climate.
          0 trees planted

          One tree is planted for every climate review written to an organization that is Open for Climate Dialogue™.

          Download the app

          We plant a tree for every new user.