The European Commission has decided that the controversial herbicide glyphosate can be used in the EU for a further 10 years, despite its possible links to cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
The commission stepped in to give the green light on Thursday after member states again failed to reach a majority either way. The Netherlands abstained again despite repeated appeals for a “no” vote, broadcaster NOS reported. The actual ballot has been kept secret.
Earlier this week, a group of 159 scientists from universities and institutes across the country made a last-ditch appeal to farm minister Piet Adema to vote against EU plans to extend the glyphosate licence.
The scientists argue that it is impossible to say if glyphosate is safe given the current assessment system used in Europe. A majority of MPs also called on the minister to vote no, rather than abstain.
Dutch farmers and the flower industry want to be able to use the chemical because, they say, there are no alternatives.
The commission has agreed to introduce some new restrictions on glyphosate use, and said in a statement that “member states … continue to be able to restrict its use at national and regional level if they consider this necessary.”
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