Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the world and many UK arable growers insist they cannot farm without it.
However, an ongoing tug of war between scientific evidence and politics is threatening the very future of this vital herbicide.
EU member states failed to reach an agreement on a European Commission proposal to renew glyphosate’s licence for 10 years. The next vote, for a reduced five-year reauthorisation, could take place on 9 November in Brussels.
However, sources close to the regulatory process have told Farmers Weekly that it is only 50/50 that a vote will take place on that day. The current licence is due to expire on 15 December.
As this timeline shows, a pattern of ups and downs in the EU decision-making process for glyphosate over the past three years shows that anything could happen.
The NFU is urging farmers to make the case for glyphosate on social media – by posting comments on Twitter using the hashtag #glyphosateisvital – and to their MEPs, as the campaign to get it reapproved enters its crucial final phase.