Wedged between green groups and the agriculture lobby, an EU members expert committee punted a vote Wednesday on proposals to extend the European license for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate, set to expire at the end of the year.

Lawsuits and a raging dispute on both sides of the Atlantic have centred on whether the herbicide causes cancer and should be banned.

Here’s a rundown on the sometimes bruising debate over possible health impacts:

– What is glyphosate? –

First marketed in 1974, glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and other weedkillers. Available in generic form since 2000, it is the most commonly used herbicide in the world.

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