The European Commission (EC), the bureaucratic arm of the European Union (EU) has made the decision to re-register the use of the herbicide glyphosate for another decade.
This week the EC announced it had extended the approval for the use of glyphosate until December 2033.
It comes after a number of EU countries, such as France, Austria and Germany, had either moved to ban or dramatically restrict the use of the controversial weed killer, which opponents claim is linked to cancers such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Australian farm lobby groups, long supportive of glyphosate, which they claim helps them to develop sustainable long term cropping systems, welcomed the news.
Andrew Weidemann, Grain Producers Australia research and development spokesperson, said the decision was a victory for science-based evidence.
"This decision from the EC is very important as we were concerned with the direction policy making in the EU was going with more focus on the political and tapping into popular opinion than decisions backed up with the appropriate science," he said.
He said the approval was important in a symbolic and practical sense for Australian growers.
"In terms of the image of glyphosate this approval shows the science continues to show it is safe to use, while more practically it is a big win for Australian grain growers."
"If glyphosate had been banned in the EU and Australian growers looking to export their product there would have been subject to those conditions, meaning they could not use glyphosate on crops destined for the EU market."
"In recent years the EU has been by far and away our major customer for canola so not having access to that market would be a big issue for growers."
"For us, in Australian conditions, glyphosate is essential to allow our no-till cropping systems that have had so many environmental benefits."
GrainGrowers chief executive Shona Gawel said the decision followed an earlier assessment by the European Food Safety Authority that found no critical areas of concern.
Ms Gawel said any decision to ban glyphosate would have caused severe trade disruptions, removing access to the EU canola market, and affecting demand for cereals and pulses.
"Glyphosate is widely used in the grains industry for weed control and has allowed growers to implement modern conservation agriculture methods," she said.
Bayer, the manufacturer of glyphosate, said the decision vindicated the scientific evidence it had provided.
"We are pleased for growers, who desperately need access to tools like glyphosate, that the European Commission has today confirmed that it will re-approve glyphosate for use in the EU for another 10 years," a spokesperson said.
"This re-approval allows us to continue providing farmers across the European Union with an important technology to use in an integrated weed management approach."
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