Farmers voice concerns with EU on brink of weedkiller ban
The key active ingredient in weedkiller Roundup could be taken off the shelves, as MEPs at the European Parliament voted to ban glyphosate.
The herbicide has been under the spotlight as its licence is up for renewal across Europe.
The latest vote is not binding on the European Union, but shows the mounting pressure that is building over the contested weedkiller.
The debate has been raging since the World Health Organisation said in 2015 that it "probably" causes cancer. However, the EU's food safety and chemicals agencies have found no evidence to support the claim.
Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness, who voted against banning glyphosate-based products, described the result as a "concern".
"The balance of the debate is lost," she warned, adding the political mood had shifted.
Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Joe Healy warned the current debate is being driven by populism based on politics, not science.
"Lack of political leadership across the EU is seriously undermining fact-based scientific opinion. This has resulted in the current debacle where important tools such as plant protection products, including glyphosate, could be lost to the agricultural sector," he said.