The European Commission extended the sales of the weedkiller glyphosate in Europe for up to 18 months.
The EU's 28 member states are bitterly divided on the dangers of glyphosate, one of the world's most popular weedkillers first used in the Monsanto herbicide Roundup.
Last month, EU national regulators delayed their decision on rolling over the approval of glyphosate for nine years after failing to find the necessary majority.
‘A research from the WHO found that glyphosate, commonly used weedkiller may be carcinogenic and called for the chemical’s outright ban.’
Among major EU member states, France and Italy oppose re-approving glyphosate, while Germany has so far abstained from making a clear decision.
Left with the indecision of the member states, the commission will now extend the existing approval until conclusions from scientific research by the EU becomes available by December 31, 2017, at the latest.
"After the EU Member States had failed to take responsibility for the decision on glyphosate extension, Commission decided to extend the approval of glyphosate for a limited period," said Enrico Brivio, Commission Spokesperson for Health and Food Safety.
Opponents to glyphosate, led by Greenpeace, point to research from the World Health Organisation that concludes the chemical may be carcinogenic and are calling for the ingredient's outright ban.
In May, a review carried out by experts from both the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization said, "glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet."