Last minute reprieve for weed killer glyphosate welcomed by farmers

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The CLA has welcomed a last minute extension to reauthorise the use of chemical weed killer glyphosate, commonly known as ‘Roundup’, for a further 18 months.

Commissioner Andriukaitis confirmed the extension today (28 June) just before the current license was due to expire on 30 June.

CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “Glyphosate is desperately needed by farmers across the country battling with the debilitating effects of rye and black grass. This extension allows for a definitive impartial view to be published before the license expires again. To remove the licence based around poor science and a precautionary principle would be counterproductive.”

The license is to be extended until December 2017 but after that time, the EU Council and Commission could still decide to ban glyphosate pending the findings of a report from the European Agency for Chemical Products on the health impacts of the product.

Mr Breitmeyer said banning the chemical altogether would have a detrimental effect for agriculture and the environment.

He said: “It would add significantly to the cost of food production with a significant reduction in environmentally friendly conservation tillage and the consequential loss of organic soil carbon and thus further greenhouse gas emissions. It could also mean the use of less effective but equally harmful chemicals at higher dosage rates.”

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