The European Commission will seek to extend the license of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide — for between five and seven years, a spokesman for the Commission said Tuesday.
The executive body of the EU backtracked from its initial proposal to renew the license in Europe for another decade, following mounting pressure from lawmakers in the European Parliament and several powerful countries.
National experts will meet in the Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed on Wednesday to decide whether to endorse the new proposal for a shorter renewal.
Earlier Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of phasing out the weedkiller in Europe by the end of 2022.
A new permit for glyphosate has turned into one of the most contentious dossiers to hit Brussels in the past two years. The herbicide has jumped so far up the region’s list of political priorities that French President Emmanuel Macron last week pitched new cash to help farmers phase it out.
His ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, said Monday he would support extending the herbicide’s license by three years.
Glyphosate has been at the center of controversy since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that it is a probable carcinogen in 2015. Subsequent studies by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency found that the chemical is safe, however.