Key herbicide vote stalls as Dutch abstain, new vote in November

European Union member states on Friday failed to vote in enough numbers to secure an extension to the licence for herbicide glyphosate, and there will be another attempt in November.

The leaders of at least 15 EU nations representing at least 65% of the EU population had to vote in favour of extending the licence for another 10 years.

“The required majority to adopt (or reject) the proposal was not reached,” the commission said in a short statement. The vote itself has been kept secret.

The Netherlands abstained, despite MPs urging farm minister Piet Adema to vote against.

Adema said earlier that while he accepts people’s concerns, he wants to wait until the results of new research into the health risks before taking a stand. Glyphosate has been linked to cancer and Parkinson’s.

If the November vote fails to gather enough support, it will be up to the commission to decide. It wants to extend the licence, following positive advice from EU health bodies.

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