BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Restrictions on the use of the weedkiller glyphosate will continue to apply in Germany following its re-approval by the EU. This is laid down in a regulation by Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens), which the Bundesrat approved on Friday with some amendments. According to the ordinance, use in domestic and allotment gardens and in water protection areas is prohibited. In agriculture, pre-sowing and post-harvest treatment on fields and widespread use on meadows remain prohibited. The ordinance permanently replaces a temporary emergency ordinance.

A recommendation by the Agriculture Committee to exclude water protection areas from the application ban did not receive a majority in the state chamber. The ministry explained that by updating the existing provisions, farmers could rely on tried and tested rules on the use of the total herbicide. At the same time, it will ensure that glyphosate is not used in areas where nature is particularly sensitive or where natural resources require special protection, such as in water protection areas.

The emergency ordinance had lifted a national glyphosate ban that was due to take effect on January 1, 2024 and was no longer legally valid with the renewed EU approval. Restrictions that were otherwise due to expire were also continued on a transitional basis. The EU Commission had extended the approval by ten years until 2033. The authority made the decision after there was no majority for or against among the EU member states. Germany abstained.

Among other things, there is a dispute about whether glyphosate could be carcinogenic. There are also risks to the environment. An extensive investigation by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) recently found no unacceptable risks, but pointed to data gaps in several areas./sam/DP/mis