Europe gives controversial weed killer a 5-year lease on life

Read the full story in Science.

The world’s most popular herbicide can be used by European farmers for another 5 years. After several indecisive votes, a technical committee of the European Commission today approved a 5-year license renewal for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up weed killer and similar products. The license was scheduled to expire on 15 December.

Glyphosate is less toxic to mammals than other herbicides. But it became highly controversial in 2015 after it was deemed probably carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization. The European Food Safety Authority and other regulators have concluded it is safe to use.

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