The failure to renew the authorisation of glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, will deliver a killer blow to the Irish and wider EU tillage sector, IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne has said.

Dunne said that the failure to renew it, in the absence of an alternative active ingredient to control weeds, will deliver the blow.

“It is very clear that this issue is being used as a political football by a small number of vested interest groups to drive on their own agenda.

“It is important that any decision to approve or not approve plant protection products is based on the best scientific evidence available and not on political ideologies.”

Dunne said that Europe is one of the world’s largest producers of cereals producing close on 340m tonnes which accounts for 13% of world production.

Furthermore, he said that it ranks as the largest exporter of wheat onto the world market and any major disruption to production would cause a significant spike in grain and food prices – a repeat of what happened in 2007.

“Politics, rather than science, has been the main driver behind several important decisions taken in relation to crop production technologies in recent years.

“This has the potential to destroy the EU crop production sector in the near to medium term thus leading to significant land abandonment.”

Dunne concluded by saying that Europe needs to make rational decisions based on scientific fact rather than political ideologies or emotions.