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Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed for sale at a garden shop near Brussels, Belgium November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it had renewed for five years the licence for the weed-killer glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto Co's top-selling Roundup, following a heated debate over whether it causes cancer.

A sufficient majority of EU countries voted at the end of November to clear the licence extension, but opposition to the herbicide remained, including from a citizens' initiative wanting it banned and demanding greater transparency in future.

The Commission said in a statement it would introduce measures early in 2018 to make decisions on pesticides more transparent and to enhance the quality and independence of scientific assessments.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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Reuters