EU glyphosate renewal timeline and process outlined

10:24 AM | December 16, 2020 | Sanjiv Rana

Various steps involved in the EU renewal process for the herbicide, glyphosate, and the tentative timeline has been outlined in a webinar conducted by the Glyphosate Renewal Group (GRG) comprising nine agrochemical companies. The five-year renewal given to the active ingredient in 2017 is due to expire on December 15th 2022.

The renewal process is being handled by the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG) comprising France, Hungary, Netherlands and Sweden. The AGG comprises four member states rather than the usual two, because no individual member state had volunteered to take on the expected very large application dossier and the related high workload.

On June 8th, the GRG submitted the dossier comprising a comprehensive literature review of around 12,000 published scientific articles on glyphosate for evaluation by the AGG and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The GRG expects the AGG to prepare a draft “Report on the Assessment of the Renewal” (RAR) in June 2021. At that point, the AGG will also submit a harmonised classification and labeling dossier (CLH) to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

During the period July-September 2021, the EFSA is expected to publish the RAR and open it for public comments, with the ECHA doing the same for the CLH dossier. During the second quarter of 2022, the EFSA is expected to publish its conclusions while the ECHA’s risk assessment committee will adopt its opinion on the CLH dossier.

Building upon the EFSA’s scientific conclusions, the European Commission will draft a legislative proposal for the renewal or non-renewal of glyphosate’s approval. A positive vote would require a qualified majority of member states voting in favour of the herbicide.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) threw out a bid by the city of Brussels, Belgium, to challenge the five-year renewal of glyphosate. The ECJ went against a recommendation by its Advocate General, Michal Bobek, in July that Brussels be allowed to proceed.