EU extends approval for weed killer claimed to harm health

The European Union has approved a five-year extension of the use of the weed killer glyphosate in a move that failed to satisfy both environmentalists and farmers.

After a drawn-out process, the EU backed the extension with a qualified majority and was able to beat a mid-December deadline when the current license expires.

Environmentalists had hoped on an immediate ban since they claim that the weed killer, used in chemical-giant Monsanto's popular Roundup herbicide, is linked to cancer.

Farmers, who say the substance is safe, had wanted a 15-year extension. EU nations long failed to find a compromise.

EU health and food safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said that "when we all want to, we are able to share and accept our collective responsibility in decision making."