MEPs Object to Commission Plans to Renew Bentazone Herbicide

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a non-binding resolution stating that the EU authorisation for Bentazone herbicide, which expires on 30 June 2017, should not be renewed as its safety has yet to be confirmed. MEPs point out that Bentazone’s consumer risk assessment has not been finalised and that data are missing, particularly on its potential for groundwater exposure. Moreover, a European Food Safety Authority peer review proposes classifying Bentazone, a selective post-emergent herbicide against broadleaved weeds in a wide range of crops, and is commonly used in agriculture, as having suspected reproductive toxicity potential for humans (category 2). The EU Commission has nonetheless proposed to renew Bentazone’s EU authorisation until 31 January 2032, the maximum period possible, while simultaneously requesting data confirming its safety.

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