Glyphosate extension approved

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Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Barclay Bell, has welcomed confirmation that the use of Glyphosate has been given an 18 month extension.

“The re-authorisation of Glyphosate will come as a relief to growers as it is a key part of farmers’ toolboxes and is used responsibly across the EU,” said Mr Bell.

“If farmers are to meet the challenge of sustainably producing more food for a growing global population and build resilience to climate change, we must have the tools we need to do so.”

The UFU says the task over the next 18 months is to prove to European Policy makers of the importance of Glyphosate and to further prove that it is safe to use while providing assurances to the consumer about its safety when it comes to food production.

“The loss of glyphosate would have greatly increased the time and cost of managing weeds not only for farmers but for local councils and gardeners,” added Mr Bell.

“It would also undermine the competitive production of high quality, affordable crops in the EU should it be withdrawn in 18 months’ time.”

He also made clear that the delay in the reauthorisation process, and in particular the fact that politics rather than science and evidence led policymaking had become the reason for the delay.

Meanwhile, Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association said the Commission has been forced into this decision by a politicisation of the regulatory process.

He added: “It is disappointing that Member States have forced the Commission into this position by ignoring the science and advice of expert regulators.

“The indecision of Member States and the need for an extension demonstrates how politicised this process has become.

“Nevertheless, it will be a relief to farmers that they will be able to continue to use this crucial tool, at least in the short-term.”