A vote was not held today in Brussels on the re-authorisation of glyphosate as the European Commission said that it would not proceed to a vote without a solid qualified majority of Member States.
EU Member States have been in talks for the past two days on the issue of renewing glyphosate, however since it was obvious that no qualified majority would have been reached, a vote was not held today.
A Commission spokesperson said that the Commission will reflect on the outcome of the discussions.
If no decision is taken before June 30, the chemical will be no longer authorised in the EU and Member States will have to withdraw authorisations for all glyphosate-based products, the spokesperson said.
It is understood that 19 countries are in favour of glyphosate renewal, while six other Member States have not decided on a stance for the chemical's renewal.
This week, the French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine, said that France would ban glyphosate, regardless of what way EU Member States vote on the issue.
Speaking to France Info Radio, she said that the French President Francois Hollande said clearly during the last environmental conference that glyphosate would not be authorised in France.
“Regardless of debates around whether it causes cancer or not, the studies we have show it’s an endocrine disruptor,” she said.
Glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in the Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, has hit the headlines over the past year regarding its carcinogenicity to humans.
Three reports on the chemical have had different conclusions; two reports said that it is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard while the other has said that it probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
The most recent report was only published last week, where an UN committee of FAO and WHO experts found that the chemical is unlikely to pose carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.
This following an European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report in November of 2015 which also found that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.
Meanwhile, a contrasting report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March last year, found that glyphosate probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans.