(Bloomberg) -- German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said glyphosate herbicide probably won’t have enough support to gain re-authorization for use in the European Union after 2022.
Germany shouldn’t follow Austria, whose parliament recently voted to ban products containing glyphosate, Kloeckner said in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel, pointing out that the EU’s clearance of the chemical lasts through 2022. German politicians are instead working on plans to find safe alternatives to it, said Kloeckner, a Christian Democrat.
Glyphosate is a polarizing topic in Germany. Bayer AG acquired Roundup -- the world’s best-selling weedkiller, whose active ingredient is glyphosate -- in its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto Co. last year. Since then, the German drugs and chemicals giant has lost three trials in the U.S. from people claiming Roundup caused their cancer -- and its shares have plunged almost 40%.
EU laws call for companies wishing to maintain approval for glyphosate to submit an application by Dec. 15, three years before the current authorization expires. Agencies in France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden are charged with performing the initial assessment of applications.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization headquartered in Lyon, labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in 2015, a claim Bayer rejects. The company says that other studies and regulators have shown the chemical is safe.
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