The European Commission Friday extended the EU authorization for the use of herbicide glyphosate until the end of 2023, according to Commission officials. The authorization had been due to expire on December 15 of this year.
Earlier this year, the Commission asked EU countries to approve a one-year extension on the expiring five-year authorization after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced that it would not be able to conclude a risk-assessment process until at least July 2023. The conclusions from EFSA, originally expected in September, are central to the Commission and EU countries’ decision on whether or not to reapprove the herbicide.
The controversial chemical, which critics say is linked to cancer and can have detrimental impacts on insects and marine invertebrates, was last reapproved for use in the EU in 2017. In May of this year, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) concluded that glyphosate is not carcinogenic but can cause serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life.
After countries failed to reach a majority decision at votes in October and November, the Commission said it had “a legal obligation” to extend the authorization until the EU’s food agency publishes its conclusions next year.
The one-year authorization will expire on December 15, 2023.