- An assessment from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessments (BfR) has found that glyphosate, the key component of Monsanto Co.'s Roundup weedkiller and similar brands from other companies, may not be as dangerous as other agencies have found. The extension of the license for glyphosate’s use in Europe is pending.
- This announcement comes just a few months after the World Health Organization reported that glyphosate can probably be linked to carcinogenic effects, around which time glyphosate was banned or restricted in several European countries.
- The BfR assessment was based largely on classified industry reports, including "unpublished papers provided by the Glyphosate Task Force, an industry body dedicated to the herbicide’s relicensing. Its website is run by Monsanto UK," according to The Guardian.
The ultimate decision concerning glyphosate use in Europe could have major implications for Monsanto and other weedkiller-making companies, which see Europe as a major market for their products. Monsanto enjoyed good news in Europe when the European Commission approved 10 GMO crop imports back in April, but those GMO crops may not perform as well without approval for Roundup in the EU. In January, EU Parliament also passed legislation that allowed individual countries to either ban GMO cultivation or have an easier approval process for using genetically modified seeds.