Ahead of a the final vote on the re-authorisation of glyphosate – Europe’s most commonly used herbicide – the NFU has called for common sense to prevail.
A European standing committee will vote this week on whether to re-approve products containing the active substance glyphosate, after a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), claiming that glyphosate is “probably” able to cause cancer. IARC is part of the World Health Organisation.
This was later contradicted by the European Food Safety Authority and most recently, by a joint committee of experts from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation who yesterday announced that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans” exposed to it through food.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “The weight of evidence is clear. The European Parliament has called for glyphosate to be re-authorised and various scientific bodies have confirmed that glyphosate is safe for use. This ultimately leaves no factual basis preventing a full a re-approval that is consistent with the established regulatory process. It is essential that farmers and the environment are given every chance to thrive and I very much urge member state experts to listen to the scientific advice, and re-authorise glyphosate.”
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in Europe – not just by farmers, but by gardeners, local authorities and public utilities alike. It allows UK farmers to control weeds in a way that benefits the environment through its application in planting methods that protect soil structure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.