The first hurdle has been cleared for EU to renew Roundup licence
Last week's decision by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that glyphosate should not be classified as a carcinogen is a major relief for farmers.
The EU has the most rigorous assessment procedure for introduction of new pesticides and for the renewal of existing approvals.
Glyphosate, which we have been using for the past 40 years, has been under evaluation since 2012. The current approval for the use of glyphosate as a herbicide is due to expire on December 31 this year.
Farmers are highly reliant on the use of glyphosate for weed control but more importantly farmers want and need to be seen to use products that will protect food quality and be safe for the consumer.
In order to form their opinion ECHA's Committee of Risk Assessment has reviewed thousands of scientific papers, engaged in a public consultation process and considered submissions from all interested parties.
The next stage for renewal of approval is that the European Commission considers the ECHA's opinion in order to determine approval under the Plant Protection Products (PPP) regulation.
That decision must be made by the end of November 2017. It is only after EU approval that member states can authorise the use of a plant protection product.
The member states are not obliged to grant approval when a product is approved by the Commission. It is up to each member state to grant, refuse or restrict the use at national level.