Farm chemicals under renewed EU scrutiny
Published 05/07/2016 | 02:30
Weedkillers and pesticides facing license renewal in the coming months are expected the receive the same high levels of scrutiny as glyphosate, it has been warned.
It comes as the European Commission was forced to step in and grant an 18-month extension to the license for glyphosate - agriculture's number one weedkiller - after EU countries failed to reach a qualified majority.
Mairead McGuinness MEP said it was causing huge uncertainty among farmers, particularly those who practice min-till.
"There will be other herbicides and pesticides coming up for license renewal and I'd expect similar scrutiny of them," said Ms McGuinness.
"The ministers were not prepared to collectively re-license and in the end because the deadline loomed of June 30 the Commission was obliged to make a decision so there wouldn't be huge disruption and chaos.
"In my view how you get the balance right is making sure those using the chemicals are trained, which farmers are, constantly look at the new data and be prepared to take advice on board."
If the license had not been issued by the deadline all products including glyphosate, a key ingredient in many weedkillers including Monsanto's Roundup, would have had to be phased out.
Some 20 EU countries, including Ireland, had voted in favour of reauthorising glyphosate but under EU voting rules a 'qualified' majority of 55pc of countries that make up 65pc of the EU's population is required.