Restrictions on glyphosate use across the EU come into force today

New restrictions around the conditions regarding the use of glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, come into force across the EU from today, August 22.

The new rules around the use of the herbicide come into effect almost two months after the European Commission failed to reach consensus on the re-authorising the chemical in the EU.

Following the failed talks, the Commission granted an 18-month extension to glyphosate’s authorisation in the EU.

If Members States had decided not to renew it, or if a decision hadn’t been reached, then they would have had to withdraw the authorisations for plant protection products containing the chemical from their markets.

As of today, the new rules around the conditions regarding the use of glyphosate come into force for the 18-month extension.

Under the new rules, there is a ban of a co-formulant (POE-tallowamine) from glyphosate-based products.

POE-tallowamine, one of the co-formulants used for glyphosate-based products, has raised concerns regarding its toxicity to humans when used in plant protection products containing the herbicide.

Other restrictions include obligations to reinforce scrutiny of the pre-harvest use of glyphosate as well as to minimise the use in specific areas, such as public parks, playgrounds and sports grounds.

These new restrictions around the use of the herbicide will apply for the duration of the extension until the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issues its opinion on the herbicide.

Meanwhile, a new report on the herbicide commissioned by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in New Zealand has found that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans.

It was concluded that there is no convincing evidence of an association between glyphosate exposure and the development of cancer in humans.

The EPA, which approves and regulates the chemical for use in New Zealand, commissioned the report amid ongoing public unease about its impact on people and the environment.

Three reports on the chemical have had different conclusions; two reports said that it is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard while the other has said that it probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans.

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