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Germany: Emergency glyphosate regulation ensures planning securityqrcode

Dec. 27, 2023

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Dec. 27, 2023

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) launched an emergency glyphosate regulation, which will be published today in the Federal Law Gazette and will come into force on December 31, 2023. The emergency regulation applies for six months.

Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, said, ″I consider the European Commission’s decision to approve glyphosate until 2033 to be wrong, and I do not consider it as being supported by the votes of European Union (EU) states. German plant protection law must now be adapted so farmers can have planning security, and impending damage to biodiversity can be averted. We are continuing the current restrictions on the use of glyphosate, such as the ban on its use in water protection areas. For the next step, we will revise the Plant Protection Application Ordinance, in accordance with the coalition agreement.″

The emergency ordinance provides interim legal protection, and it temporarily regulates existing application restrictions for glyphosate. Corresponding sanctions also continue to apply. Under the Plant Protection Application Ordinance, the previous government mandated a complete ban on glyphosate from January 1, 2024, in 2021. The renewed approval of the active ingredient would have made the national ban contrary to European law. Previous restrictions on the use of glyphosate and their sanctions would also have expired on January 1, 2024.

The EU Commission had approved the use of glyphosate for another ten years. 

″Glyphosate undoubtedly harms biodiversity. Re-approval is a bad signal for innovation. Modern crop production and a herbicide that has existed for almost 50 years simply do not mix. I would have liked to have voted a clear ‘no’ in accordance with our coalition agreement. Unfortunately, no agreement could be reached on this within the federal government. In accordance with our common rules of procedure, my only option in Brussels was to abstain. Because if you agree on rules, you stick to them. I would like that to happen with all partners, in line with our coalition agreement,″ Özdemir said.

To monitor the emergency regulation, the BMEL is drafting an amendment to the Plant Protection Application Ordinance. ″I want to comply with our coalition agreement on glyphosate as much as possible, despite the EU approval. We must protect biodiversity so we can continue to harvest secure crops in the future. This is simply a case of public welfare and the duty of the entire federal government. We will examine other options for effectively restricting the use of glyphosate. I am counting on the support of all partners!″ Özdemir said.


The European Commission's proposal to extend the approval of glyphosate for another ten years did not receive a qualified majority from EU member states, or at least 15 member states representing some 65% of the bloc’s population. The European Commission then decided on the re-approval on its own. On November 28, 2023, it published the regulation extending the approval of glyphosate for ten years. The active ingredient is now approved EU-wide until December 15, 2033.

The ″Ordinance on the provisional regulation of the use of certain plant protection products″ suspends the complete ban on the use of glyphosate and lifts previously applicable restrictions. It will take effect on January 1, 2024, and be in force for six months until June 30, 2024. The legal situation could only be adjusted this year through an emergency ordinance. The adjustment by the end of the year at the latest was necessary due to the re-approval, to prevent the EU Commission from initiating infringement proceedings and avoid lawsuits from manufacturers and users at national level.

Source: BMEL


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