Vote on glyphosate – Austria will vote against new EU approval

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Austria will vote against a corresponding proposal when voting on further approval of the highly controversial herbicide glyphosate among EU member states in October. The reason for this is a decision taken by the SPÖ, FPÖ and the Greens in the EU subcommittee of the National Council in 2017.

Glyphosate is approved across the EU until December 15. The European Commission has already recommended further approval. According to the published proposal, the drug should be used in the EU for another ten years. In its most recent assessment, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) considered reapproval as uncritical.

Austria will not follow the recommendation and vote against new approval in the expert committee at EU level. The reason for this is getting a bit old: in October 2017, at the initiative of the Greens, a corresponding resolution was adopted in Parliament’s EU subcommittee. SPÖ and FPÖ supported the motion, ÖVP and NEOS spoke out against it.

Austria will not stop the deployment
The crux of the matter: the decision required the respective Agriculture Ministers to vote against the extension of the approval at EU level, even beyond the then legislative period. However, it is not very likely that Austria will prevent use across the EU, as a qualified majority is sufficient for new approval.

Although Austria cannot suspend the use of glyphosate on its own, a partial ban was passed in the National Council in 2021. Since then, it must no longer be used in sensitive places such as children’s playgrounds, parks, geriatric care facilities or health facilities. Homes and allotments and private use are also affected. However, it remained permitted in agriculture, where it is by far the most widely used.

Most commonly used herbicide
Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide and was developed by the American company Monsanto, which was acquired by the German pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals group Bayer. With the purchase, Bayer also faced a wave of lawsuits over the alleged carcinogenic effects of glyphosate.

Authorities around the world, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemicals Agency, have classified the herbicide as not carcinogenic – a view that many environmental NGOs disagree with.

Source: Krone

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