FARMING: Cork MEP welcomes new 5 year license for glyphosate

Weedkiller vote sparks Franco-Italian backlash and shakes German politics

Europe renews glyphosate licence for five years

A powerful weedkiller that a United Nations body said could cause cancer will be widely used for at least five more years after being re-approved by the EU.

Its licence was due to run out in December.

Macron announced the move on Twitter.

Glyphosate was introduced in 1974 by U.S. agro-giant Monsanto under the brand-name Roundup.

European Union health and food safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said that "when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making".

He pointed out that the Commission had originally proposed a 10-year renewal and said that the reduced licence offered "five years in which we will work to look for alternatives". European Union nations had failed to find a compromise until Monday.

The UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland were among the countries that voted in favour of the chemical's reauthorisation, while Germany, France and Italy all voted against.

"The decision taken today by a narrow qualified majority of member states has locked the EU into another five years of toxic agriculture", said Green member of the European Parliament Bart Staes. It also reduces the need for ploughing, which benefits the environment and enables farmers to apply no tillage, which reduces soil erosion, and keeps soil organic matters up.

Monsanto is widely used by farmers and it had been predicted that a ban on the product could have resulted in a farmers' revolt.

In the latest sign of tensions in Chancellor Merkel's bid to form a government, Ms Hendricks said she "declared clearly" to Mr Schmidt that she "did not agree with an extension of the renewal of glyphosate", but he then "received another instruction than the one which was agreed between us".

The decision has been criticized by the Germany-based Glyphosate Task Force, which stated that the approval "categorically ignored scientific advice (and was) mainly influenced by public opinion and driven by politics", according to Nature News.

Schmidt, whose Christian Social Union is the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told the Rheinische Post that Germany had voted for the agreement because of conditions that will "strengthen the role of biodiversity and animal protection". Get twice-daily updates on what the St. Louis business community is talking about.

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