On June 28, EU officials confirmed an extension to the licence for glyphosate, allowing growers to use the herbicide for a further 18 months. Glyphosate could have been being withdrawn had its licence not been approved by a June 30 deadline. It has been the subject of debate as a result of conflicting reports on the chemical’s carcinogenic risk.
Following the European Food Safety Authority’s (Efsa) conclusion that glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer in humans, the European Commision reapproved glyphosate for a shorter period than the originally proposed 15 years. The 18 month licence allows time for the completion of a European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) study into the herbicide’s safety, which is expected in late 2017.