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Bayer launch new ‘Glyphosate Hub’

Bayer launch new ‘Glyphosate Hub’: To support the use of glyphosate in the amenity sector, Bayer has launched a new amenity specific ‘Glyphosate Hub’ to empower contractors by providing them with relevant information about this vital active ingredient.

Freddie Bendall-Brown, digital marketing specialist at Bayer Environmental Science, explains that after surveying amenity professionals last year, the company believed it was important to help amenity professionals sort fact from fiction when it comes to glyphosate.

Bayer launch new ‘Glyphosate Hub’

Bayer launch new ‘Glyphosate Hub’

“This is why Bayer has developed the ‘Glyphosate Hub’. It provides amenity contractors with the references and information they need to respond to queries from the public and colleagues alike,” he says.

“The hub also emphasises that there’s few alternative tools out there to control such a broad spectrum of weeds, especially with such a good safety profile backed by years of research and scientific study. Something many people outside of the amenity sector are not aware of.”

Freddie adds that historically, the focus on glyphosate has been centred around agriculture.

“This is why we’ve developed this bespoke amenity hub, so relevant factual information for amenity contractors is in one place..”

“The hub also provides glyphosate specific information on UK and EU regulations, best practice guidance and independent research and resources from organisations such as CRD, the glyphosate renewal group and DEFRA,” he adds.

To visit the ‘Glyphosate Hub’ click on the link below: https://www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk/turf-management/glyphosate-hub

[Box-out] Have your say…

With your help the ‘Glyphosate Hub’ will continue to evolve and grow over time, so that it provides up-to-date and relevant information to support amenity contractors in their role. Have your say on what you need to justify your weed control programme and provide feedback by emailing amenity@bayer.com.

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The move away from Glyphosate

The move away from Glyphosate: Many UK grounds maintenance companies and county councils are re-examining the use of glyphosate herbicides and seeking non-chemical weed removal.

This is happening amid the continuing debates on the effects of glyphosate on our health and manufacturers’ claims that abandoning glyphosate weedkiller in favour of alternatives will cost grounds care businesses and councils more. Finding a commercially viable alternative to its use in urban settings is the first stage for authorities looking to phase out the use of pesticides and herbicidal weedkillers. The problem is a majority of ground care and landscape maintenance professionals have become reliant on glyphosate in their weed control programmes and many consider the substitute options are limited and, in most cases, more costly.

The move away from Glyphosate

The move away from Glyphosate

Manual removal will most likely always be a part of weed control, but it is labour intensive and therefore expensive. The use of post-emergent herbicides such as pelargonic acid will control small broadleaf weeds but can only partially damage perennial and large annual weeds. Other naturally occurring broad-spectrum herbicides including glufosinate and diquat are similarly only contact active and don’t translocate to the roots of the treated weeds. Acetic acid–vinegar is effective in burning weed leaves but again has no residual activity and overall, the repeated use of herbicides has led to resistance in many species of weed. So where next do you look for the holy grail alternative to the use of glyphosate? Heat kills seedling broadleaf weeds and flame weeding is effective in hardscapes but not practical where flammable materials may be present; and it only causes foliar damage, meaning grasses, perennial broadleaf weeds and sedges rapidly re-grow after treatment. Which brings us to the use of hot water and insulating, biodegradable foam.

Foamstream is a process many UK local authorities, greenspace contractors and municipalities around the world are using daily. It is, in fact, the leading herbicide-free alternative for weed, moss and algae control.  Those in the know will be aware the process was developed to help organisations navigate the change to reduce or remove herbicides from their weed control programmes, and they have been seeing the benefits for a number of years. Notably, these include the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Southwark and Bromley, Glastonbury, the Vale of Glamorgan and Lewes, together with contractors such as idverde and Burleys, and utility companies like Thames Water, South West Water and Welsh Water. For anyone not familiar with Foamstream, it is a proven method now used extensively across four continents. To put it simply, Foamstream works by cooking the weeds it covers. The foam and hot water solution is a 99.5% water and 0.5% foam blend of natural plant oils and sugars which insulate the hot water, allowing effective heat transfer from leaf to root, killing the plant and stopping heat being wasted to the atmosphere.

Quite apart from being a naturally environmentally friendly method of treatment, there are many other associated benefits. Foamstream can be used in all weathers, which is favourable among contractors and municipalities needing to plan their labour force effectively and minimise downtime which, with other methods, may occur as a result of undesirable weather.

The process works to reduce total weed growth in an area by not only killing the weed, but also sterilising surrounding seeds and spores. It can be used on all surfaces, hard, soft, porous artificial and historical. It’s safe and hazard-free for the operator and safe for use around people, animals, delicate ecosystems and waterways. Spray chemical weedkillers in even a light breeze and you risk over spraying and resultant off-target damage.

“Since using Foamstream my health is better. The benefits are for me, for the environment, for everyone.” Says Jason Tomlin, Foamstream operator at idverde. “I’ve never been told I can’t use it – I’ve always been allowed to use it wherever I want because of what it does and its non-chemical environmentally friendly credentials.”

There’s no on-going operator certification, training or protective clothing required, which represents a saving against other methods. Chemical treatments are toxins and as such drive up health and safety requirements and the associated costs. What then are the costs associated with Foamstream?

“There is the initial outlay, as with any system,” says Thomas Hamilton, Foamstream/Weedingtech Commercial Director. “There is the capital cost of machinery to be taken into account. Most operators adopt a phased, integrated approach to their weed management programmes and as an outline Foamstream can be introduced for as little as £395.00 a month. The strategy over time is to be rid of glyphosate with a cost-effective alternative and Foamstream fits the brief perfectly.”

Foamstream also has a multi-function use – it can be used across all departments as a cleaning solution for gum removal, power washing and sanitisation. Depending on the type of paint and surface it can even be used for removing graffiti. The company has just introduced a new entry-level system, the Foamstream L12, with additional functionality for street cleaning, with a water-only rinse mode and high-pressure features.

You can find out more about Foamstream technology by contacting Weedingtech +44 203 09 0050 or visit www.weedingtech.com

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Bayer To Appeal Glyphosate Ruling

Bayer To Appeal Glyphosate Ruling: Bayer shares continued to fall on Tuesday after a California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion in damages to a couple who alleged that the company’s glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup caused their cancers.

The third successive loss by Bayer in US courts and highest award to date by a jury after finding glyphosate to be carcinogenic highlights the legal risks and mounting cost to the company of the burgeoning litigation it faces over its widely-used herbicide.

Bayer To Appeal Glyphosate Ruling

Bayer, which acquired Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion last year, denies the allegations, saying decades of studies and regulatory approvals have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use.

But the company faces more than 13,400 similar US lawsuits and shareholders have rebuked Bayer’s top management over its handling of the Monsanto acquisition and the litigation it inherited. Adverse jury verdicts have wiped more than 40% from Bayer’s market value since August.

Bayer on Tuesday said the litigation will take some time to conclude as no case has been subject to appellate review to assess key legal rulings in the trials. The company has vowed to appeal or already has appealed the verdicts.

The following is a summary of upcoming dates in the US glyphosate litigation:

– The first Roundup jury verdict, a $289 million award in San Francisco state court last August, later reduced to $78 million, is currently on appeal before California’s Court of Appeals, First Appellate District. Bayer in late April asked the appeals court to throw out the judgment, saying there was “no evidence” glyphosate could cause cancer.

Plaintiffs and Bayer will file additional briefs over the next few months and oral arguments in the case are unlikely before the second half of 2019, with a decision likely in the fourth quarter at the earliest.

– Bayer is still waiting for US District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, who oversaw the first federal Roundup trial, to enter final judgment of an $80 million verdict in March. Following that formal legal step, the company has 28 days to ask the judge in post-trial motions to reverse the verdict or order a new trial.

The case before Chhabria was unique for its structure, limiting the amount of evidence the plaintiff could present in a first trial phase. Bayer had hoped the trial structure would focus jurors on the strong scientific evidence showing Roundup to be safe rather than on company actions or behavior. The jury decision against Bayer upended that strategy.

– Bayer said it will appeal Monday’s $2 billion jury verdict in Alameda County state court in Oakland, California. In a first step, the company is expected to ask Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith, who oversaw the trial, to reverse the verdict or order a new trial.

Smith is likely to reduce the massive award as rulings by the US Supreme Court limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1. The jury awarded a total of $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.

– The next glyphosate trial is scheduled in Missouri state court on Aug. 19, the first such trial outside of California. The trial, involving a single plaintiff, will take place in St. Louis County, where Monsanto’s former headquarters and research facilities are located.

– Another federal trial could take place before US District Judge Chhabria in August or September. Chhabria currently oversees some 900 federal cases consolidated before him. The trial would mark the second bellwether, or test trial, to help determine the range of damages and define settlement options for federal cases.

Chhabria in April ordered Bayer to pursue mediation with the plaintiffs and said he will determine which cases should be dismissed or sent to other courts for further proceedings. He scheduled a status conference for May 22.

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Glyphosate Roadshow A Success

Glyphosate Roadshow A Success: Complete Weed Control’s glyphosate roadshow has been hailed as a huge success after the series of seminars offered vital guidance on the application of glyphosate to over 150 delegates throughout four UK locations.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and has been proven to be effective in controlling unwanted vegetation in public spaces, gardens and in agriculture. However, over recent years it has been exposed to an abundance of scrutiny and debate which has left more unanswered questions and created further confusion.

Glyphosate Roadshow A Success

In this series of seminars, which took place in York, Bristol, London and Stirling, Complete Weed Control aimed to provide a greater clarity on glyphosate, as managing director Ian Graham explained in his introduction at each venue.

“As an organisation we felt it was time to put together a series of seminars to deal with the issues surrounding glyphosate and its use in the amenity sector. There has been a considerable and sustained volume bad press and a much negativity surrounding this product – so we felt it was essential that we explore the reality and present the data that exists from numerous agencies around the world that have all declared this product to be safe.

“As contractors we are very happy that our using it is entirely appropriate as it delivers a safe, environmentally sound and cost-effective means of dealing with weeds.”

Following Ian’s introduction, Bayer’s Roundup Technical Development Manager Barrie Hunt shared his wealth of knowledge and offered a fantastic insight into the history and development of glyphosate.  Barrie also discussed how and why glyphosate was re-approved for use in the EU back in 2017 and provided best practice information to help delegates plan ahead for their 2019 weed control programmes.

Commenting on his participation in the roadshow, Barrie said: “I got involved because I believe the stewardship of glyphosate and our Roundup brand is incredibly important – it is not something that can be left to chance.

“These seminars have been a great opportunity to engage with so many local authorities and contractors and to present the facts about glyphosate, present the science about glyphosate, and to address everybody’s questions which have ranged from glyphosate safety through to the specifics of controlling Japanese Knotweed.

“Without doubt this amenity usage is the place where pesticides meet the public so we have a responsibility to ensure that they have a good clear stewardship message and that they understand the safety of glyphosate.”

Delegates also got the chance to see a live demonstration of the Weed-IT machine and discovered the environmental and productivity benefits that this unique technology offers the industry. Developed specifically for the control of weeds on public footpaths and similar hard surface areas in urban situations, the WeedIT technology allows for spot treatment, which is a label requirement for glyphosate.

Complete Weed Control’s Technical Director Alan Abel then went on to further discuss spot treatment options and provide greater clarity on glyphosate label legislation.  Alan also talked about the relative costs of alternative treatments such as acid, heat and hand weeding, concluding that the WeedIT machine is both financially and environmentally economical.

To conclude Ian Graham presented information regarding the ongoing Japanese Knotweed trials currently taking place in Cardiff in partnership with Swansea University– which have demonstrated that glyphosate is the product that best controls Japanese Knotweed making it more important still that this valuable active ingredient is not lost through lack of knowledge and understanding.

Each seminar concluded with a Q&A session before lunch, and Ian Graham was pleased to see each event so well attended.

“Over the four venues we have seen in excess of 150 delegates, which we consider to be a success. These delegates are keen to learn the truth about glyphosate – they are the ones dealing with the public and are being asked the difficult questions. They want to make sure they have the answers at their disposal for when they are asked and I think these seminars have provided them with the knowledge they need.

“As an industry, I think it is very important that we collectively put our weight behind supporting glyphosate. It is important to us and it is important to be able to deal with weeds effectively and in an environmentally sound fashion.

“We are looking to reach out and gain more support from other organisations within our industry and hopefully that will continue to have positive results in representing the product.

As a consequence of the shows we are now developing an online product that will be launched in January that will serve as an information resource for clients and the public alike.”

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control’s national office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk

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Bayer To Show Glyphosate Studies

Bayer To Show Glyphosate Studies: Bayer announced Nov. 21 that it will soon include safety study summaries of glyphosate on its dedicated transparency platform.

The company said this next step will mark the first anniversary of its Transparency Initiative, which was launched on Dec. 7, 2017.

Bayer To Show Glyphosate Studies

“Our commitment to transparency remains core to our mission as we move forward as a combined company,” said Liam Condon, member of the Bayer AG board of management and president of the Crop Science Division. “We recognize that people around the world want more information around glyphosate, and we are eager to offer access to our glyphosate-related safety data on our dedicated transparency platform. This platform has set new standards of accountability and responsibility in the sector; we pledge to use it as a springboard to continue to share science-based information with the public.”

Bayer said its platform demonstrates how transparency regarding crop protection safety studies can help the company achieve its commitment to sound science and the safe use of its products while at the same time maintaining confidential business information.

In addition to the glyphosate study summaries, which will be made available on Dec. 7, 2018, access to the underlying safety study reports — owned by Bayer and submitted for the review that led to the European substance renewal decision in December — will be enabled next year.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and agriculture. In fiscal 2017, the group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of 35.0 billion euros.

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Glyphosate Roadshow Announced

Glyphosate Roadshow Announced: A series of roadshow events have been announced by Complete Weed Control, designed to offer vital guidance for the amenity sector dealing with the application of glyphosate.

The half day seminars will detail the latest information from Bayer regarding glyphosate as well as informative sessions dealing with the application of glyphosate for hard surfaces utilising Complete Weed Control’s Weed-IT technology.

Glyphosate Roadshow Announced

In addition, there will invaluable advice with regard to handling public objections to weed control activities, with concise information to take away from the event.  Findings from the most extensive trials into Japanese knotweed and its control will also be provided along with advice as to how best manage the problem and its associated issues.

There will be a live demonstration of the Weed-IT machine in order for delegates to appreciate the environmental and productivity benefits that the technology brings to the sector.

Dates and venues have been confirmed as:

  • 14th Kendleshire Golf Club (near Bristol) Henfield Rd, Coalpit Heath BS36 2UY
  • 15th Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island Hotel (near Leicester) Watling St, Burbage, Hinckley LE10 3JA
  • 22nd Battle of Britain Bunker (Hillingdon) Wren Ave, Uxbridge UB10 0FD
  • 28th November King’s Manor Library, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP
  • 29th November Stirling Court Hotel, Airthrey Road, Stirling, FK9 4LA

The Seminar includes a complimentary lunch. Places are limited, so please book to avoid disappointment by clicking the below event you would like to attend.

Bristol

Leicester

Uxbridge

York

Stirling

For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control’s national office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk

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Get Straight With Glyphosate

Get Straight With Glyphosate: Glyphosate has been in the news again recently, and as groundcare professionals look to their 2019 weed control programmes, Roundup Technical Development Manager Barrie Hunt gives an update on legal and best practice information to help plan ahead.

Q. What is the legislative situation with glyphosate at the moment?

A. Glyphosate was formally re-Approved on 12th December 2017 by the European Commission.

Get Straight With Glyphosate

Q. How long has glyphosate been approved for and what does that mean for Roundup products?

A. Glyphosate, as an active substance, has been approved for a period of 5 years. The second stage of the process is the reauthorisation of the individual glyphosate products and this is currently ongoing. Both Roundup ProVantage and ProActive have been submitted for reauthorisation and we expect that process to be completed by the end of the year. In the meantime, both products continue to be fully available.

Q. Are they stocked by the same range of distributors?

A. Yes, there have been no changes to distribution agreements and you can still order Roundup products from your usual merchants.

Q. Are there any new restrictions on using glyphosate products?

A. The major change to product availability affected glyphosate products containing POE-t, also known as ethoxylated tallow amine, which is a surfactant to help wet the leaves. Since the end of June 2018 products containing POE-t are no longer authorised for use or storage. No Monsanto amenity glyphosate products contain POE-t.

We are not aware of any changes of use or label restrictions and in our product re-authorisation applications we have applied for the full range of existing uses.

Q. One of my local authority clients has expressed concern about using glyphosate in public open spaces such as parks. How can I put their mind at rest?

A. Roundup has been used successfully and safely for more than 40 years. Roundup ProVantage and ProActive act on the target’s enzyme system, which is unique to plants and not found in humans, animals, fish or insects. Roundup products have been widely used for over 40 years and their safety has been assessed by Pesticides Regulatory Agencies from all over the world, including the World Health Organisation.

As part of the recent re-Approval process, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency both assessed glyphosate in detail and concluded that it can be used safely and does not cause cancer.

People, pets and wildlife need not be kept out of treated areas, although it is best not to walk in areas where the spray is still wet as transfer to other vegetation may lead to unwanted damage to other foliage. Once the spray is dry this cannot occur.
A leaflet explaining how Roundup works is available to distribute to clients and to the public – contact the helpline on 01954 717575 for copies.

Q. Is there anything I can do as a contractor to help ensure that glyphosate remains available for use in the future?

A. Always use chemical products in accordance with the label recommendations and all applicable pesticide legislation, and in conditions where the active ingredients can work most effectively to avoid the risk of resistance.

Although there are no known cases of glyphosate resistance in the UK, it is a very real threat, and amenity professionals should have a Resistance Management Strategy in place.

This includes using the correct dose rate of a reputable, approved glyphosate product, treating at the correct weed growth stage with correctly calibrated equipment and in good conditions; using other active ingredients and non-chemical methods of weed control as part of an Integrated Weed Management Plan.

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Amenity Forum’s Glyphosate Statement

Amenity Forum’s Glyphosate Statement: The Amenity Forum have released a statement discussing the use of glyphosate after the outcome of a US judgement.

Managing weeds in amenity situations is a vital task – it impacts on every UK citizen every day providing safe and healthy environments. It really keeps Britain moving. As we move forward in this continually changing world, the need for decisions to be based upon proper evidence and science has never been so important. Chemicals used for amenity management are more rigorously tested than many household products. Not only are amenity chemicals thoroughly tested and approved but they are continually monitored.

Amenity Forum's Glyphosate Statement

In the case of the active glyphosate, it has only recently undergone a thorough review in Europe and been re-approved for use in amenity situations as a safe chemical. This review, conducted by the Expert committee of scientists in Europe and approved by vote of member states, took into account some concerns expressed about the active possibly having carcinogenic effects. Based on all the science and evidence available, it was concluded that these were unfounded and it was safe to use.

In that context, the Forum is very surprised to hear the outcome of the recent judgement in the USA relating to glyphosate in the product Round Up. We understand that an appeal is to be made by the manufacturer and so it is inappropriate to comment further on this.

The Forum seeks to work with everyone across the important sector of amenity promoting best practice in all aspects of weed management, chemical and non chemical. We support an integrated approach making best use of all tools available to ensure a safe and healthy environment fit for purpose whether it be streets and pavements, parks, railways, sports grounds and indeed all amenity spaces. Glyphosate has proved to be a very important and essential element in such management programmes as an approved, regulated and fully authorised chemical.

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No Repeat Of Glyphosate Saga

No Repeat Of Glyphosate Saga: There will not be a repeat of the Glyphosate saga, promises EU’s new committee on authorisation of pesticides.

The new special committee on pesticides started looking into the EU authorisation procedure during its first working meeting on 12 April.

No Repeat Of Glyphosate Saga

MEPs discussed the state of play of the procedure with European Food Safety Authority executive director Bernhard Url and the European Commission.

Committee chair Eric Andrieu (S&D, France) said: “We must dare to do everything and not forbid ourselves on this real question of society: we are talking about the health of 500 million Europeans, 42% of foods are identified without pesticides… the margin is large.

“In December, when we will vote on our report, we will have to make a commitment to citizens that the food they eat and the air they breathe are not dangerous to their health.

“Our Special Committee must lay the foundations for new practices guaranteeing transparency and independence. Above all, it must restore citizens’ confidence in the European process.”

Co-rapporteur Bart Staes (Greens/EFA, Belgium) said: “This new committee gives us the opportunity to delve into the work of the different European and national agencies, the quality of the evidence used, the role of industry and the independence and transparency of the entire evaluation process.

“Protection of public health and the environment must be at the heart of EU decisions. We want to make sure there can no re-run of the glyphosate saga”

The EU re-authorised glyphosate for five years in November amid controversy around carcinogen claims.

“The re-authorisation of glyphosate highlighted some serious problems with the current process. We will now examine the evidence in detail and come forward with recommendations to make sure that the authorisation procedure for pesticides as a whole is fit for purpose, so that future decisions are fully transparent and respect the relevant EU regulation” Staes said.

Co-rapporteur Norbert Lins (EPP, Germany) said: “The main goal of the PEST-committee is to look at the authorisation procedure from every angle and to identify possible improvements based on a scientific approach.

“The Commission and EFSA gave us a good overview about the current legislation which was a good start to understand the process. Nevertheless we will need more input from all stakeholders, to see how the theory works in practice. It is of particular interest for me to put an effective and efficient process in place which does not only focus on transparency but ensures safety for environment and health and strengthens innovation” he added.

The special committee will hold its next meeting on the 26th of April.

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European Commission Relicense Glyphosate

European Commission Relicense Glyphosate: Weedkiller Glyphosate has been given a last minute reprieve after a European Commission (EC) committee granted a fresh licence for the herbicide’s continued use across the EU.

The relicensing follows months of indecision by the EC. The EC Appeals Committee finally reached a qualified majority to renew glyphosate for five years.

European Commission Relicense Glyphosate

The decision to grant the herbicide a licence for a further five years was reached by the EU Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, comprising representatives of the 28 member states, after a series of meetings this year failed reach consensus.

The approval comes just a few days before the current licence expires on December 15, which left many professional users in the horticulture industry fearing a sudden ban with drastic effects.

A qualified majority of member states voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal for a five-year re-approval (18 in favour, nine against and one abstention). Germany voted in favour of re-approval, having previously abstained. This ensured the qualified majority for approval, as 18 member states voted in favour, including Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania which previously abstained, while nine member states voted against and just Portugal abstained.

The UK was in favour, as was Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Spain.

Against were Belgium, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Austria.

Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “Today’s vote shows that when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making.”

Crop Protection Association chief executive Sarah Mukherjee said: “Whilst we are pleased that the science has eventually prevailed, the politicisation of what should have been a standard re-approval process sets a worrying precedent for the future of crop protection and sustainable farming in Europe.

“The loss of glyphosate would have caused significant damage to the economy, the environment and the agricultural sector.

“British farmers will be relieved that this vital tool will continue to be available to them, and they will be able to continue to do what they do best, providing us with safe, healthy, affordable food.”

NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “It is good news that farmers and growers will be able to continue using glyphosate for another five years. However, the fact remains that there is absolutely no regulatory reason why it should not have been reauthorised for 15 years, as was originally proposed.

“Independent regulatory bodies around the world, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), have looked at all the scientific evidence and concluded glyphosate is safe to use. But their conclusions have been ignored and their credibility has been undermined.

“Glyphosate reduces the need to use other herbicides, it helps to protect soil and cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for ploughing, and it enables farmers in this country to grow crops that help produce safe, affordable, high quality British food.”

MEP Anthea McIntyre said: “The scaremongering and indecision over this product had left farmers and growers fearing they were staring over a cliff edge, so this will be greeted with enormous relief.”

A World Health Organisation report labelled it a suspected carcinogen; but a large body of peer-reviewed studies have shown this not to be the case.
McIntyre, member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, added: “It should never have taken this long to renew the licence and it should have been renewed for a full 15 years but the last minute reprieve and the licence for five years is welcome.
“Many farmers are making a big effort to build up the levels of organic matter in soils by using ground cover crops and “no-till” farming methods, backed up by application of glyphosate. This gives us carbon sequestration, protection from soil erosion and avoidance of water evaporation.
“A de facto ban on glyphosate would have been a shocking and unscientific backward step.
“Farmers would have had to fall back on mechanical weed control. That would mean 25 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions and a significant impact on farm bird life – including skylarks, partridge, lapwing.
“For a zero Improvement in public health and safety, we would have been worsening food security, soil quality, biodiversity and climate change.”

Monsanto’s Gary Philpotts said: “The Roundup brand is doing well, considering the issues around glyphosate.”

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