DUP MEP Diane Dodds has welcomed new research published earlier this week by the European Chemicals Agency (ECA) which found that scientific evidence does not meet the criteria required to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen.
Mrs Dodds said that this news will be welcomed by farmers across Northern Ireland who rely heavily upon this active substance.
She added: “This week’s assessment by the European Chemicals Agency is welcome news not just for arable farmers but for those operating right across all sectors.
“The use of the active substance called glyphosate, which is found in Monsanto’s Roundup, has only been granted its current licence for 18 months. There have also been numerous calls for restrictions to be placed on its usage, which would limit effectiveness for farmers.
“It is therefore a positive development that this assessment has concluded that glyphosate poses no risk to human health when used correctly.
“This position should be reflected at an EU level and this information should be formally submitted to the European Commission in the coming months.
“The Commission will then take a final decision on the glyphosate classification and re-approval should be completed by the end of 2017. In light of this research, I believe there should be a willingness to approve glyphosate for the next 15 years.
“This will give certainty to the industry and ensure that scientific evidence is the basis for making decisions on these matters, not public opinion,” Mrs Dodds added.
“Of course we must not forget that in the background a coalition of civil society organisations have launched a petition calling on the Commission to ban glyphosate. The petition needs one million signatures from across seven Member States to be considered, and to date it has almost half a million.
“It is important that the Commission takes cognisance of this week’s research when responding to these calls.”