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Glyphosate Granted 18-Month Extension In EU

The European Commission voted to extend the sale of the product until the European Chemical Agency provides a new ruling in 2017.

The controversial chemical and "probable carcinogen" is the main ingredient in Monsanto herbicide Roundup.

Glyphosate – the controversial key ingredient and “probable carcinogen” in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup – will stay on European shelves, for now.

Just hours before a scheduled recall, the European Commission voted to extend the sale of the chemical for another 18 months until the European Chemical Agency gives it a new safety ruling.

campaign on activist website Avaaz collected 2 million signatures asking health officials not to reauthorize the sale of glyphosate, and a poll shows that two-thirds of Europeans support a glyphosate ban.

In response to public backlash against the product, the European Commission laid out conditions for its use – including the ban of a co-formulant with glyphosate-based products and minimized use of glyphosate in public parks and playgrounds – though those conditions are non-binding in the EU.

More than 6 billion tons of glyphosate has been sprayed on farms and public spaces in the past 10 years, and sales of the product account for almost a third of Monsanto’s earnings.

Tests have shown traces of the residue in the urine of people from 18 different European countries, and in over 60 percent of breads sold in the UK.

Seven EU states already have a glyphosate ban in place, two have restrictions, and four have impending or potential bans.

The European Chemical Agency has until the end of 2017 to provide a ruling.

Read More:

  • Controversial chemical in Roundup weedkiller escapes immediate ban (The Guardian)
  • European Commission to extend glyphosate license for 18 months (Reuters)
  • EU extends license of controversial weedkiller (Irish Times)
Taylor Killough

Taylor Killough has degrees anthropology and journalism. She has worked with the oral history project StoryCorps. A nomad at heart, she recently returned to Louisville, Kentucky, where's she's excited to have her own kitchen and garden again.

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