The European Commission has extended the EU-wide license for controversial weed killer glyphosate to end by 2017 at the earliest. This after member states failed to decide on its future a day before its deadline expires.
The Commission said that by the end of 2017 the ECA will have produced an additional opinion on the weed killer.
Uncertainty remains if glyphosate - one of the world's most commonly used active ingredients in weed killer - causes cancer. Agricultural groups argue in favor of the herbicide, despite such fears.
It is often used in farming and also to control plants in homes and urban areas.
Member state representatives have now failed in two recent meetings to get a majority to prolong the glyphosate license and as a result the Commission had to decide on a course of action.
Many EU governments are in favor of a license renewal, but large member states such as Germany - whose coalition government is divided on the issue - are undecided.
Failure to extend the license for products containing glyphosate would eventually force its removal from European markets. But even now individual member states can restrict products containing the chemical.
jbh/blc (dpa, Reuters)