Meat & Livestock News

Glyphosate’s Decade-Long Approval Renewed by European Commission

Thai farmer with machine and spraying chemical to young green rice field

In a significant move for the agricultural sector, the European Commission has extended the authorisation of glyphosate for ten years. This decision, crucial for farmers globally, comes after detailed evaluations and discussions among EU member states.

Glyphosate, essential for crop management and yield improvement, has been reapproved with stringent safety and environmental guidelines. This reauthorisation reflects its importance in agriculture.

The renewal, initiated in 2019, was led by the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), involving member states. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted thorough safety assessments. Over 16,000 studies were screened, with approximately 780 relevant to the assessment, indicating no significant health or environmental risks.

Member states are tasked with the national authorisation of glyphosate-containing products, considering EU-level conditions and national scenarios. Post-renewal, national authorisations will be reassessed, with the possibility of member states limiting glyphosate use, especially to protect biodiversity.

The ten-year renewal, shorter than the typical fifteen, follows a detailed re-evaluation of glyphosate. The Commission is prepared to review this approval if new evidence suggests the safety criteria are not met.

New conditions in the renewal include banning glyphosate as a desiccant, setting limits for certain impurities, mandating specific risk assessment aspects, setting maximum application rates, and requiring information on potential indirect biodiversity impacts within three years.

Regarding glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, both ECHA and EFSA have not found evidence to classify it as carcinogenic. ECHA’s recent opinion and EFSA’s findings align with major global regulatory bodies.

The Commission assures prompt action to amend or withdraw glyphosate’s approval if new safety concerns arise.