A CONTROVERSIAL weed killer could still be used in Essex parks for another two years despite claims it could cause cancer.

Essex County Council and Basildon Council confirmed Roundup is still used despite a couple in the US winning a settlement of $2billion in a US court.

The glyphosate product is used by a contractor for Essex County Council.

It is understood 5,015 litres of Roundup – enough to produce a diluted mix to cover 90,000 football pitches - has been used in the past year.

The EU is expected to make a decision in 2022 whether or not to renew a licence.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “Highways uses the product approved and licensed by the EU and the UK for these purposes.

“The EU has a standard process to test any new evidence regarding its safety before the projected licence renewal date of 2022.

“If the product should fail to achieve a licence at that date or before we will cease its use immediately.”

He added that ECC “will always act in line with the law and appropriate/relevant guidance”.

A Southend Council spokesman said: “The council does not use Roundup as a weedkiller, however we do use similar glysophate based products, which are approved products.

“We closely monitor the products we use, and will ensure that if any product was to become unlicensed at any point, we would immediately halt the use of said product by ourselves or any of our contractors.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “Basildon Council does use Roundup but if its licence is withdrawn this will stop and we will review whether suitable alternatives are available.”