Following the outcome of EU member states voting on the European Commission’s proposal to renew the use of glyphosate, an Irish farm organisation has called the herbicide “critical” for Irish agriculture.

The proposal to renew the use of glyphosate for 10 years did not receive the required majority from EU member states in today’s (Friday, October 13) vote.

Irish Farmers Association (IFA) grain committee chair, Kieran McEvoy said that “access to glyphosate products is critical for the continued, future transition of Irish agriculture to a more sustainable model”.

Glyphosate is a chemical substance used in a number of herbicide products and its use in Europe is currently approved until December 15, 2023, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The failure to reach a majority vote on the renewal of the herbicide is “very concerning for EU agriculture,” McEvoy said.

According to the IFA grain committee chair, the EFSA “has identified no critical areas of concern with products containing glyphosate”.

“It is positive to see that Ireland followed the conclusions of the assessment, but disappointing that other member states appear unwilling to fully accept the scientific evidence on glyphosate,” he said.


McEvoy continued: “Increased utilisation of cover crops, greater use of multi-species swards, and reduced tillage establishment methods are simply not possible without glyphosate herbicides.

“IFA will be meeting with officials from the pesticide registration and control division of DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) next week to discuss the full implications of today’s outcome,” McEvoy added.

MEP Grace O’Sullivan spoke on today‘s outcome and said “while this is not the outright rejection we wanted, it is good news.

“I understand that the vote was tight so we need to redouble our efforts to convince ministers for agriculture, including our own, to end the use of glyphosate once and for all.

“Our fight against this toxic weedkiller goes on,” she added.

A decision on the renewal of the herbicide needs to be taken by December 14, 2023, as the current approval expires on December 15.