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Debating Glyphosate

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
Debating Glyphosate

<p>Health experts from EU countries are expected to discuss whether or not to extend the license for the herbicide glyphosate at a meeting starting on Thursday.</p> <p>However, they will only vote on the issue later this year.</p> <h3><strong>How long has this been going on?</strong></h3> <p>Europe has been debating for two years whether to allow the weed-killer, used in Monsanto’s Roundup, with no clear majority of countries for or against a license extension and concerns it is carcinogenic.</p> <p>The EU granted an 18-month extension in July 2016 pending further scientific study after failing to agree on a proposed 15-year- license renewal.</p> <p>In March, the European Chemical Agency concluded that glyphosate, one of the world’s most heavily-used weed killers, should not be classified as causing cancer.</p> <h3><strong>What is the European Commission now proposing?</strong></h3> <p>A 10-year extension. However, officials say this will only pass if supported by a clear majority of member states.</p> <p>The standing committee on plant animal food (<span class="caps">PAFF</span>), meeting on Thursday and Friday, had been expected to vote on the license for glyphosate.</p> <p>That vote will not now take place.</p> <h3><strong>Are there any other options?</strong></h3> <p>Yes. France has put forward the idea of a shorter extension for glyphosate, with a view to phasing it out.</p> <p>Paris is opposed to a 10-year extension.</p> <h3><strong>What they are saying</strong></h3> <p>“Depending on how the discussions evolve, there will be another meeting to discuss it and a possible vote. A decision should be taken by the end of the year when the current authorisation expires,” – an <strong>EU Commission spokeswoman</strong>.</p>