EU nations refused to back a limited extension of the herbicide glyphosate’s use on Monday, threatening withdrawal of Monsanto’s Roundup and other weed-killers from shelves if no decision is reached by the end of the month.
Contradictory findings on carcinogenic risks have thrust the chemical into the center of a dispute among EU and U.S. politicians, regulators and researchers. Citizen and environmental groups have urged governments to exercise caution.
The EU executive had offered a 12- to 18-month extension to allow time for further scientific study by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), in hopes of allaying health concerns. Its earlier proposal to renew the glyphosate license for up to 15 years had failed to win support in two meetings this year.
The compromise proposal failed to win the qualified majority needed for adoption, an EU official said, adding the European Commission will discuss the issue at a meeting on Tuesday.