Market News & Headlines >> EU Fails to Extend Glyphosate License

Glyphosate, the most used herbicide in history, faces an uncertain future in the European Union after EU member nations on Monday failed to pass a short-term extension of the license for the chemical. 

Supplies of Monsanto’s Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides will have to be withdrawn from shelves if no decision on the usage license is made by the end of this month. 

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, had proposed a 12- to 18-month extension of the usage license for glyphosate to allow time for further scientific study after failing twice earlier this year to win support for a proposal to renew the license for up to 15 years. 

The Commission could now simply approve its own proposal.  However, a commission spokesman on Monday declined to tell Dow Jones Newswires whether the body would take such an action. "Member States should take their own responsibilities and not try to hide behind the commission," the spokesman said. 

Conflicting assessments of whether glyphosate is a carcinogen have fueled a dispute among EU and U.S. politicians, regulators and researchers over the chemical’s safety.The European Commission hopes a study by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will ease health concerns.