On December 12, 2017, the European Commission adopted Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2324 renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 ("Commission Renewal Decision").
The European Commission renewed the approval of glyphosate for use as an herbicide as of December 16, 2017, for a period of five years (i.e., until December 15, 2022) on the basis of the opinion of the Committee for Risk Assessment of the European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA") on the harmonized classification as regards to the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. The ECHA Committee concluded that, on the basis of the information currently available, a classification of glyphosate as carcinogenic is not justified. In parallel, the European Food Safety Authority ("EFSA"), supported by experts from EU Member States national authorities, assessed the potential endocrine disrupting properties of glyphosate and found that glyphosate does not have endocrine-disrupting properties through estrogen, androgen, thyroid, or steroidogenesis mode of action.
The Commission Renewal Decision for glyphosate was adopted despite the adoption by the European Parliament on October 24, 2017, of a nonbinding Resolution opposing the European Commission's proposal to renew the authorization of glyphosate and requesting a phase-out of the substance by 2022 as well as the submission on October 6, 2017, of a European Citizens' Initiative titled "Ban Glyphosate and Protect People and the Environment from Toxic Pesticides" in accordance with Article 11(4) of the Treaty on the European Union (see the Commission Communication of December 12, 2017, on this matter). In the Commission Communication of December 12, 2017, the European Commission clarifies that in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, even after an active substance is authorized at the EU level, separate authorization is required at the national level for plant protection products containing such active substance. Therefore, individual EU Member States may still decide to refuse or restrict the placing on the market of some or all of the glyphosate-containing plant protection products where this is warranted on the basis of evidence related to the particular agricultural and environmental circumstances in their territories.
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