EU Commission expresses disappointment
Discussion over the renewal of glyphosate in the EU Standing Plant Animal Food and Feed Committee (PAFF) lasted only half an hour and “did not go well”, according to a report for the online news outlet Politico (behind a paywall).
The meeting ended without a resolution.
The vote, if it takes place, has been postponed until tomorrow.
Six member states are still uncertain of their position: Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Nineteen countries are in favour of renewal and only France has said it will vote against. Italy may vote no but is not being explicit about its position. Sweden and Luxembourg abstained, while Austria and Slovakia “did not take any position”.
The Commission expressed its “disappointment” over the lack of a decision. A Commission spokesperson said that member states that were as yet undecided “were invited to consider their final position by tomorrow”.
A separate report for Politico said the Commission is “losing patience with waffling countries” on renewing the pesticide.
Thus it is considering scrapping a vote altogether. An EU official told Politico that the Commission does not want “to take the whole blame” for authorising glyphosate without a qualified majority vote from member states, so it may simply take no action by the June deadline if no qualified majority is reached. This could lead to lawsuits from industry.
The Commission has until June 30 to decide whether to renew market authorization for the pesticide. If not, after a six-month grace period, countries would have to withdraw it from the market.