The European Commission June 28 extended, once again, the authorization for the herbicide glyphosate for another 18 months. The American Soybean Association welcomed the news but is still uncertain for how long U.S. soy will have access the EU market.
ASA President and Greenwood, Del., soybean farmer Richard Wilkins noted in a statement that the announcement comes as only temporary relief for American farmers searching for certainty in the European marketplace.
“An 18-month extension gives U.S. farmers and exporters the assurance that they will at least have access to the European market for that period of time. Clearly that’s not the certainty the industry needs, but it’s better than nothing. That said, we are still extraordinarily frustrated by the unscientific approach in the EU,” Wilkins says.
“Remember, the European Food Safety Authority found that glyphosate is safe. Given this repeatedly proven fact, it’s a relief that the commission decided to step in and issue this reauthorization, even after the Council of Ministers was unable to find the support among its members to affirm the EFSA finding,” he says. “Continued progress is needed, however. A logical and welcomed next step will be for the EU to finalize approval of the three pending biotech varieties. With that approval, our farmers can move forward with the certainty they need.”