Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has welcomed the decision by EU Member States to re-authorise the herbicide glyphosate for five years.
Describing it as “a victory for evidence-based policy making”, Mr Nicholson said that while a longer extension period would have been preferable, the decision would provide a degree of certainty to producers. The current licence was due to expire in December.
Mr Nicholson said: “This is a victory for evidence-based policy making, and for common sense. For many farmers and producers, glyphosate is not a luxury, but a necessity. It is crucial for the production of affordable food, and it is also beneficial in promoting sustainable farming and reducing greenhouse gases.
“I am relieved that Member States have decided to follow the science on this issue. While it would have been preferable for the herbicide to be re-authorised for a longer period, this decision will provide a degree of certainty to producers.”
Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said:“It is vital not only to feed a growing population with reliable food supplies at affordable prices. But also it reduces the need for ploughing which benefits the environment and enables farmers to apply no tillage which reduces soil erosion and keeps soil organic matters up. Without it, our food supplies will be put at risk as there are currently no alternatives on the market. We have very high standards in the EU which consumers need to be better informed of.”