‘Essential’ herbicide gets five-year approval

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A long-running campaign to secure the re-authorisation of a herbicide described by farmers as ‘essential’ has borne fruit.

The product, glyphosate, was this week approved by the appeals committee in Brussels for a further five years.

National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) said it had been a ‘hugely frustrating process, which saw politics rather than scientific evidence delay decisions on a product that had been deemed safe by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency amongst others’.

The union believes re-authorisation for five years was justifiable.

NFUS has been running its #Glyphosateisvital social media campaign since the summer and has been lobbying the European Commission on the issue over the past year.

Union president Andrew McCornick said: ‘Glyphosate is vital to Scottish farmers who use it to control weeds, manage harvests and reduce grain drying costs. It has been an unnecessarily protracted process but finally the uncertainty for our members is over and they can start planning for next year, factoring the use of glyphosate into their cropping and harvesting plans.

‘Off the back of such a difficult harvest and challenging planting conditions for so many Scottish farmers, the thought of not having such a useful and environmentally-beneficial product would have been daunting.’

NFUS president Andrew McCornick welcomed the decision. 06_a03nfus07