The EU last week refused to extend the licence for the use of glyphosate, one of the active ingredients in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killers. The current licence expires at the end of June, meaning the company’s products may have to be removed from shelves.
20 countries supported allowing an extension pending the results of investigations into well founded concerns glyphosate is a carcinogenic and significant hormone disrupter. Only that seven countries abstained (only one country, Malta, was brave enough to actually voted against), the licence extension would have sailed through.
There will be intense lobbying by the GM giant on euro countries to ensure another vote before the end of the month is not lost. Under EU rules, the licence extension could be granted if a simple majority (based on population) voted in favour. The EU executive has twice so far this year attempted to push through a 15 year licence for the company but failed.
It is expected that should the EU refuse a licence, the company will begin legal action – a sign of the power the TTIP treaty will give companies over and above national law.