Germany’s federal government plans to ban use of the herbicide glyphosate at the end of 2023. The move is part of a plan to protect insects and biodiversity approved today by the German cabinet decided on Wednesday in Berlin.
The plan also calls for the systematic reduction in glyphosate use starting in 2020.
Germany’s chemical industry trade association VCI (Frankfurt) contends that the resolution is contrary to European law, which states that authorization of active ingredients in plant protection products takes place at European level.
The 31 December 2023 date is when approval for glyphosate expires across the European Union unless individual states renew it.
A premature fixing of Germany’s position without taking scientific evaluation through the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) into account would weaken the scientific- and rules-based authorization process for plant protection products, according to VCI.
“The federal government is on a collision course with European law and in the scientific evaluation of active substances for plant protection products,” says Utz Tillmann, VCI managing director. “The decision of the cabinet means a huge loss of planning security. The economy must be able to count on a reliable framework,” Tillmann says.
Bayer AG faces lawsuits from more than 10,000 plaintiffs in the United States claiming exposure to glyphosate and alleging injures, including cancer. Bayer, which maintains that glyphosate is safe, inherited the liability with its acquisition of Monsanto last year. Monsanto introduced glyphosate in 1974.