Glyphosate future still undecided

  • Last updated: 22 November 2022
European ministers have once again reached stalemate on whether to relicense the weed killer chemical glyphosate.
person in white suit spraying weed killer on plants.

Only 14 voted to approve the proposal that the licence be renewed for a further 5 years, 9 voted against and 5 abstained. It now goes to an appeal committee for consideration at the end of this month. Time is running out, as the licence ends in December.

The deadlock appears to reflect complicating factors in this relicensing saga. On the one hand there is strong public opinion against the herbicide, plus independent research which believes it to be dangerous to human health (with potential to cause cancer). On the other hand there is the farming lobby and the powerful industry lobby both of whom want to keep using the chemical. If you add in the potential risk to international trade deals on crops grown with or without glyphosate, as well as the EU political games (those who abstained probably did so to avoid backlash from their own electorate) then stalemate is almost inevitable.

Garden Organic has always opposed the use of glyphosate and any other toxic pesticides. Chief Executive, James Campbell, wrote to the EU Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, expressing concern on the issue, and over three thousand members signed an online petition, which not only asked for the licence to be revoked, but also – and most crucially – for the EU regulatory system on agrichemicals to be overhauled.

We continue to fight against glyphosate, and we will continue to oppose any other use of unnecessary chemicals which poison our wildlife, soils and water. See here for further information on glyphosate and how to grow without it.