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MEPs vote to limit use of the herbicide Glyphosate

Press Release

Wednesday 13 Apr 2016

Nessa Childers welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament which called for a limitation on the use of the herbicide glyphosate which has been linked to cancer.  “As a member of the Environment committee I voted for a full ban, but the result today at least limits its use”. The vote was on a resolution setting out the parliaments position on a proposal by the EU Commission to reapprove the use of glyphosate in Europe.

“The resolution raised serious concerns with the Commission’s proposal and in particular called for significantly restricting the uses for which glyphosate could be approved. The vote took place ahead of a decision by EU government representatives on whether or not to support the Commission proposal to approve glyphosate for use in the EU for a further 15 years.

“I would have preferred if MEPs had followed the recommendation of the EP’s environment committee in clearly calling for an outright rejection of the re-approval of glyphosate. However, this resolution opposes approval of glyphosate for most of its uses, and takes aim at the excessive length of the approval proposed by the Commission.

“There is growing opposition among EU governments to reapproving glyphosate for use in the EU and I hope today’s vote, combined with major public opposition, will convince more governments to change their minds on glyphosate. Given the serious health and environmental concerns and conflicting scientific advice regarding glyphosate, it is difficult to understand why Commission proposed to continue to allow its use for 15 more years without any restrictions on its use.

The WHO in its assessment concluded the substance is probably carcinogenic. EU governments must heed these concerns and reject the Commission’s proposal.


Glyphosate is an active substance widely used in herbicides. Patented in the early 1970s, it was introduced to the consumer market in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide and quickly became a best seller. Since its patent expired in 2000, glyphosate has been marketed by various companies and several hundred plant protection products containing glyphosate are currently registered in Europe for use on crops.