There are now just 100 days until a decision has to be made on whether or not glyphosate will have its license reauthorised, and it’s not looking certain.
It has now been confirmed that The European Union will only extend the license for herbicide glyphosate if there is a qualified majority vote in favour of the extension. Back in June 2016, when the chemical weed killer was originally supposed to be reauthorised for 15 years, the EU failed to get a majority vote from member states, resulting in only an 18-month extension.
Glyphosate is the main component in most chemical weed killers and has been relied on since being introduced to the market in the 1970’s. However, as times move on it is becoming more apparent that the chemical isn’t so reliable after all, as some species of weeds have grown tolerant to the chemical, thus not having the same effect as it once had.
Over the years, the chemical has cause controversy in the Horticulture Industry, with the World Health Organisation concluding that it is probably carcinogenic to humans, something which could not be ignored. Over 1 million EU residents signed a petition to get the weed killer banned, shadowing more doubt on its safety.
Since June 2016, many UK and Irish councils have acted on this uncertainty and implemented bans on the use of the chemical or opted for environmentally friendly alternatives instead to get ahead of the times. Shetland Islands Council are just one of many organisations who are reaping the benefits of killing weeds with hot water; not only have improved community relationships they have reduced downtime and number of complaints from the public, read their success story here. Full list and details of what is banned and where can be found here.