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Ian Hudghton (Greens/EFA) ‒ It is important to emphasise that this vote in the European Parliament is not a final or legally binding one: it merely offers a political opinion on the subject. The actual decision will be taken by representatives of the 28 EU Member States in the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.
I recognise that the science is not entirely settled on glyphosate. Therefore, it would not be right to ignore concerns and write a blank cheque for glyphosate through a standard 15-year re-authorisation with no conditions. In particular, the European Chemicals Agency is launching a review of glyphosate, which should report by the end of 2017. I felt it appropriate to support amendments calling for a compromise approach: a re-authorisation for 5-7 years.
Following a complex series of votes, with more than 50 conflicting amendments having been tabled, MEPs have chosen not to endorse the position taken by our Environment Committee, which had called for an outright ban. Instead, our majority opinion was to suggest a seven-year approval, with some conditions attached. I think that position is reasonable in the circumstances, and voted in favour of it.