Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide. It works by inhibiting a specific plant enzyme and is frequently used by the landscape industry to eliminate weeds.

Glyphosate was introduced by Monsanto in 1974 under the trade name Roundup and quickly became popular in the agriculture and landscape industry worldwide. Glyphosate is absorbed through the foliage of plants and transported to growing points and is therefore highly effective on actively growing plants. The landscape industry uses glyphosate to manage weeds including Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and a range of annual weeds. Glyphosate is one of only two active substances approved for use in aquatic areas.

Glyphosate and formulations such as Roundup have been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide. Glyphosate had its license renewed in 2017 by the EU for another 5 years, which means it will continue to be available for sale and used by professionals and homeowners across Europe. This 5-year license extension period is less than initially predicted however and reflects an ongoing debate regarding the effects on humans and the environment from glyphosate use.

BALI would like to remind stakeholders that, following review of scientific data in November 2017, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency’s Committee for Risk Assessment found no link between cancer in humans and glyphosate use. BALI will continue to monitor the scientific evidence presented, but until new guidance emerges from regulatory bodies including the Health and Safety Executive, will continue to advocate the use of glyphosate according to industry best practice and as part of an integrated weed management strategy.