Germany’s Vote Means EU Retains Access to Glyphosate for Five Years

The European Union (EU) recently voted to allow the continued use of glyphosate. Of the 28 member nations, 18 voted in favor, nine against and one abstained.

The decision was influenced by Germany’s postelection limbo, according to Dow Jones. The country voted in favor of using the herbicide—a decision many are criticizing.

In response to Germany’s approval, the outgoing environment minister accused farm minister Christian Schmidt, who voted in favor of using glyphosate, of going “behind her back.”

Since the product’s extended approval required not only majority from countries voting, but also of governments “representing a majority of the EU’s 500 million citizens,” a no-vote from Germany would have stopped the approval, according to Dow Jones.

Reuters reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was disappointed in Schmidt’s vote. “As for the vote of the agriculture ministry yesterday on glyphosate, this did not comply with the instructions worked out by the federal government,” Merkel told Reuters.

Farm minister Schmidt defended his decision to Rheinische Post saying he “obtained concessions in regards to animal health and biodiversity” and that the commission would have approved the extension anyway.

Since the vote approved continuing use, the EU Commission should renew glyphosate’s five-year license by December 15.