In truth, it is being looked at all the time.
Decisions on the authorisation of an active substance, such as glyphosate, are made at EU level following advice from the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA. Member states have competence to authorise products containing EU-approved active substances.
Glyphosate is a non-selective systemic herbicide that is applied directly to plant foliage. It was first commercialised in the mid-1970s and is registered worldwide. It is used in agriculture, forestry, industry, home and garden, and semi-aquatic areas. It is primarily used as a means of total weed control prior to the establishment of field crops or at the very end of the growing season to desiccate the crop to manipulate harvest date and improve crop quality.
Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 regulates the authorisation, marketing and use of plant protection products. Maximum residue levels, MRLs, are currently in place, including for glyphosate, facilitating all currently registered uses. The MRLs are currently under review by the European Food Safety Authority and the member states.
Glyphosate was previously reviewed in 2002, as part of the EU plant protection product review programme which has allowed its continued use. A scheduled re-review is currently under way, with Germany acting as the rapporteur and Slovakia acting as a co-rapporteur. The process of peer reviewing the German-Slovakian evaluation is coming to a conclusion and it is expected that this process will be completed within the next few months. As part of the process the European Food Safety Authority is co-ordinating a review by all member states of its evaluation.
The German evaluators will also perform a thorough review of the classification issued by the World Health Organization agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, once its full report, which is expected in August, becomes available. All uses of products containing glyphosate approved in Ireland are in line with approved uses in all other EU states. Uses are only granted if the appropriate risk assessment indicates that safe use is possible under normal conditions. To date, no EU or, indeed, OECD countries have taken a negative regulatory position on glyphosate and currently all EU member states have product authorisations in place.