Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Barclay Bell, says the conclusions of an independent scientific body, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), underline the safety of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used product for weed control.
“On the strength of this advice there is no reason for the EU Commission not to re-authorise glyphosate for a further 15 year period,” says Mr Bell.
The ECHA conclusions were that the scientific evidence ‘did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutation or as toxic for reproduction’.
Glyphosate is a key tool for farmers, which cuts the need for other plant protection products and helps farmers grow safe, affordable products.
“We are a step closer to the re-approval of glyphosate. The union has always argued that the decision must be made based on scientific evidence rather than politics.
“After reviewing the evidence, the ECHA found that glyphosate meets several safety standards and poses no risk to human health when used correctly.
On the strength of this advice there is no reason for the EU Commission not to re-authorise glyphosate for a further 15 year period.Barclay Bell, UFU president
“This is an opinion shared by regulatory bodies such as, the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, and the European Food Safety Authority,” says the UFU president.
The UFU will continue work with its members and other UK and EU farming unions to ensure the facts about glyphosate’s safety and importance are fully understood in the run up to the Commission making its final decision on the licence.