France has banned Monsanto’s Roundup Weedkiller after the UN classified it’s main ingredient, glyphosate, as a probable carcinogen. According to The Independent, French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal commented on the ban to France 3 television Sunday. “France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides.” Royal said. “I have asked garden centres to stop putting Monsanto’s Roundup on sale”
According to the UN’s International Agency for Research on cancer (IARC), glyphosate is the most-produced weedkiller in the world. The pesticide first hit the market in the 1970s under the brand Roundup. In March, IARC declared that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. The agency made the classification based on studies of glyphosate exposure in the United States, Canada and Sweden published since 2001.
The findings are especially of concern after the US Environmental Protection Agency approved increased tolerance levels for glyphosate in 2013.
Andreas Kortenkamp, professor of human toxicology at Brunel University, London, told The Independent in March, “Professional gardeners would use industrial strength glyphosate to totally wipe their garden of all plants. Amateur gardeners can also buy it as Roundup in a formulation which is not as strong. Anyone who sprays it could get a whiff of it. People should be very careful with this stuff and consider whether they need it. Home gardeners should hand weed to be on the safe side.”