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Europe votes on use of weedkiller which is said to cause cancer

PARIS: France will vote against a five-year extension of the licence for weed-killer glyphosate that the European Commission proposed yesterday, a junior French environment minister said.

The decision makes renewal more difficult for the product, which has been linked to cancer. Glyphosate is a key ingredient in Monsanto Co's top-selling weed-killer Roundup.

"In view of the risks, France will oppose this proposition and vote against it," Mr Brune Poirson said in an editorial in French Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

Fourteen out of 28 countries voted in favour of extending the licence when the EU voted on the issue on Nov 9 with nine against and five abstentions.

Under EU rules, 16 favourable votes are needed as a "qualified majority" for renewal before authorisation expires on Dec 15.

EVIDENCE

The Commission said it would resubmit the proposal at the end of the month.

Glyphosate has been used by farmers for more than 40 years but its use was cast in doubt when the United Nations' World Health Organisation said in 2015 that it probably causes cancer.

But the European Chemical Agency said in March this year that there was no evidence linking it to cancer in humans. - REUTERS

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