EU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again

EU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again

The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue to be used, and what will happen to agricultural practices — including but certainly not limited to biotechnology, reports Andrew Porterfield with the Genetic Literacy Project.


On June 29, European Union Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis announced that his agency would extend permission to use glyphosate in Europe for another 18 months. The decision, however, appears to simply extend the rancor in Europe over whether the world’s most-used herbicide will be available there.

This year’s fight began as something of a surprise. The German Social Democrat Party, the country’s oldest and the smaller part of a governing coalition with two other political parties, announced that it would oppose the European Commission’s re-approval of glyphosate for another nine years.

“The biodiversity of plants, insects and birds is threatened by herbicides,” said SPD spokesperson Angelika Lober. “The question is not whether glyphosate causes cancer, but how glyphosate, which is in our agriculture, food, in hygienic products and much more, has an effect in total.”

The SPD’s decision put a halt to the EC’s impending movement to approve glyphosate. Without Germany’s buy-in, the Commission doesn’t have the votes it needs for approval.

Head on over to to read the full report from Porterfield.

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