After EU Member States failed to take responsibility for the decision on glyphosate extension, the Commission has extended the approval to the end of 2017 at the latest, until European Chemical Agency issues its opinion.
Despite repeated efforts from the Commission to address concerns expressed about the re-approval of glyphosate, Member States were not prepared to take responsibility for a decision as no qualified majority was reached at the Standing Committee on 6 June and again at the Appeal Committee on 24 June. As a result, taking into account the extremely thorough and stringent scientific assessment of the active substance by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Member States' national agencies, the Commission extended today the approval of glyphosate for a limited period of time, until the end of 2017 at the latest. By the end of 2017, an additional opinion on the properties of the active substance is expected from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) the competent EU agency for the assessment of dossiers for the classification of chemical substances. Its opinion will be fully taken into account when deciding on subsequent steps. The Commission has also proposed to the Member States to restrict the conditions of use of glyphosate in the EU. These conditions include a ban of a co-formulant (POE-tallowamine) from glyphosate-based products, obligations to reinforce scrutiny of pre-harvest uses of glyphosate as well as to minimise the use in specific areas (public parks and playgrounds). Discussions with the Member States took place this week but were inconclusive. The Commission regrets that Member States have not yet been able to agree to these restricted conditions and will direct the necessary efforts to have them adopted as soon as possible.