Germany seeks end date for glyphosate use

Germany plans new conditions for pesticide approval and will seek an end date for the use of glyphosate -based herbicides, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said last week, according to Reuters.
Weed killers using glyphosate, made by Bayer AG’s Monsanto, are the subject of a heated debate in Europe and the US, due to the suggeston that they might be cardinogenic.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their SPD coalition partners agreed in February to limit glyphosate use, with the goal of ending use of products that contain it, but set no timeframe. Now Schulze, who is from the centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) party, has stated that, “we want to push forward the withdrawal (of glyphosate), including an end date.”
However, Schulze acknowed that alternatives to glyphosate, and the impact of products that might be even more damaging, need to be carefully considered from a safety and environmental perspective.
Furthermore, a glyphosate ban would result in more ploughing, and put German farmers at a competitive disadvantage, said Helmut Schramm, head of Bayer CropScience in Germany. “Unfortunately, the debate over glyphosate in Germany is shaped by political interests and not by sound scientific insight. Glyphosate is a safe, efficient and established product to secure farmers’ harvests,” he added.
Former German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt triggered an international controversy and domestic row a year ago by unexpectedly backing a European Commission proposal to permit use of glyphosate for the next five years.