Glyphosate is a herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. It is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. Glyphosate stops a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid pathway. The shikimic acid pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms.
In 2017 the European Parliament called for Glyphosate to be completely banned in the EU by 15 December 2022, whilst at the same time the European Commission proposed to renew the controversial herbicide licence for 10 years. In the same year, some 1.3 million European citizens signed a petition calling for a ban on glyphosate.
However, this week EU Commission officials confirmed that, after the EU’s food safety agency EFSA had found no critical areas of concern in a July assessment, it would recommend an extension of the substance’s authorisation in the bloc for 10 years.