A decision on the future of the active substance glyphosate will be made by the European Commission before the end of 2017.
Glyphosate was reapproved for use for 18 months in June 2016, rather than the expected 15 years, following political wrangling centred on concerns over its safety. That decision was made despite the science and evidence overwhelmingly showing glyphosate poses no risk to human health or the environment when used correctly.
The European Commission has now put forward a proposal to reapprove glyphosate for use for ten years – even though the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published its long-awaited report on glyphosate earlier this year which further reinforced its safety, and even though there is no regulatory reason why glyphosate should not be reapproved for 15 years.
Therefore, it is vital that the NFU and its members continue to make the case for glyphosate to be reauthorised for 15 years, both to MEPs and on social media.
Members across the country have already written to their MEPs outlining the importance of glyphosate on their farms. Others have taken to social media to highlight the importance of glyphosate and show why it is vital to their business. The work we've helped members with has already been picked up in a story by Farmers Weekly.
But it’s important that we continue to make the case. We don’t want to issue a template letter but would ask members to write a personal letter explaining a bit about you and your farm, outlining how glyphosate works for you and what it allows you to do.
MEPs, MPs and the Commission have raised concerns that individual farmers are not speaking up.
Here's how to help
If possible, get your MEP out on farm. Invite them to come and look at your soils, weed burden, any cover crops, no till/ min till systems and explain how glyphosate allows you to farm. Find out who represents YOU here.
It looks likely that a decision on glyphosate’s reauthorisation will be made in early November. That is why it is vital as many farmers as possible get involved in the debate over its future and highlight the benefits it brings, as well as it safety.