The European Parliament has voted to renew glyphosate for a further seven years, following a meeting of MEPs in Luxembourg today.

Glyphosate's current European license was set to expire in June, but following today's vote, it has been granted authorisation until 2023.

Nearly 700 MEPs voted on the licensing of glyphosate and the vote was passed by 374 votes in favor to 225 votes against.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide used in pesticides made by Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta, for example, and is the most heavily used weed-killer in history.

In March of this year, Environment Committee MEPs said that the European Commission should not renew glyphosate’s authorisation.

The Environment Committee called on the European Commission to carry out an independent review of the herbicide and disclose all the related scientific evidence on the potential impacts of the herbicide.

However, scientific opinion on glyphosate is divided.

The European Food Safety Authority suggest that it is unlikely to pose a public health risk, yet the World Health Organisations indicates that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans.

Prior to the vote, farming organisations including the IFA and UFU called on MEPs to renew glyphosate's authorisation.

In late March, IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne said that a failure to renew the authorisation of glyphosate would deliver a killer blow to the Irish and wider EU tillage sector.

Dunne said that the failure to renew it, in the absence of an alternative active ingredient to control weeds, will deliver the blow to farmers.

He also said that it had the potential to destroy the EU crop production sector in the near to medium term.

Furthermore, the Ulster Farmers’s Union (UFU) also called on the European Commission to re-register glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.

The UFU, along with the other UK farming unions, wrote to the Commission and key UK members of the Parliament urging them to reject attempts by members of the Parliament’s environment committee to block glyphosate’s re-registration.