Germany defeats France, swings vote in favour of glyphosate
1 December, 2017
Germany defeated its key EU ally France in a very tight vote last Monday to clear the use of the herbicide glyphosate for the next five years, after a heated debate over whether it causes cancer. Representatives from 18 of the 28 Members States voted in favour of the Commission's proposal for a five-year renewal, with 9 against and one abstained.
Heavyweight Germany dropped its opposition to the pesticide, introduced in 1974 by US agro-giant Monsanto as Roundup. Divisions over the weedkiller within the EU have dragged on since June 2016, when its previous 15-year licence expired and an 18-month extension was granted. However, faced with an uproar over the alleged dangers of glyphosate use, experts balked last month at a renewal and the commission then proposed reducing the timeframe from 10 years to five years.
After the vote, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would take all necessary measures to ban the product as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years.