In a suprise move, EU Member States did not reach a qualified majority for the reapproval of glyphosate at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) today.
Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Malta, France and the Netherlands abstained, while Austria, Croatia and Luxemburg voted against. The rest were in favour.
Pesticide Action Network Europe’s Gergely Simon welcomed the results of the vote: “This is an important signal. It does right to the concerns of a majority of Europeans about the impact of pesticides on health and environment. A wide range of independent scientists have expressed their concerns and their studies show serious negative effects of glyphosate use. Re-approval of glyphosate breaches the EU Pesticide Law, under which health and environment should come first. In case of doubt, the precautionary principle must be invoked.”
This means the potential authorisation moves to an appeal Committee, due for early November. The Commission has the opportunity to adapt the proposal to try to achieve another qualified majority. This may mean the Commission proposing a short extension period., as has been more typical over recent years. A “qualified majority” means 15 countries representing at least 65% of the European Union’s population. (However, the 65% population figure is only relevant as a block if at least four member states vote against the proposal)
However, the Commission has the authority to make a decision on its own, with or without a qualified majority.
Read the draft on the Commission’s Comitology Register or download the draft and annexes below
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