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E.U. Approves Use of Controversial Weed Killer for Five Years

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, renewed on Monday a five-year license for an herbicide once deemed carcinogenic.

Glyphosate, a popular weed-killer and the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup products, sparked controversy after a 2015 report from the World Health Organization found it could probably cause cancer in humans. Other regulators, including the European Chemical Agency, have since said there is no evidence linking glyphosate to cancer.

Monday's decision follows a move to ban glyphosate in Europe after its license expired in June of 2016.

"These are five years during which we will work to search for alternatives," said French agriculture minister Stéphane Travert, who opposed the renewal, in an interview with France's international public radio. "Five years during which we will mobilize research and innovation so that tomorrow we can modify agricultural practices for our farmers and for the environment."