June 18, 2015 — Roundup, a popular weed-killer made by Monsanto, has been banned from garden centers in France just weeks after it was declared a “probable” human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Reuters, the move is part of a large crackdown on pesticides. France plans to fully ban pesticide sales to home gardeners by 2022.
French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal said:
“France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides. I have asked garden centers to stop putting Monsanto’s Roundup on sale.”
The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, kills broadleaf weeds by inhibiting a plant enzyme needed for life. Monsanto has made billions selling “Roundup Ready” crops that are genetically engineered (GMO) to resist glyphosate. Today, most corn, soybean, and cotton crops are glyphosate-resistant.
Unfortunately, a number of studies have found higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in farm workers in the United States, Canada, and Sweden. Some studies have also found dwindling populations of pollinating insects like butterflies and honeybees in regions where glyphosate is widely used.
France is joining many other countries that have implemented similar bans. Last month alone, Columbia and Bermuda restricted use of glyphosate. Last year, Sri Lanka banned glyphosate after researchers linked it to an epidemic of kidney disease.
Monsanto has disputed the link between glyphosate and cancer. The company’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, issued a statement declaring outrage, and said “this result was reached by selective ‘cherry picking’ of data and is a clear example of agenda-driven bias.”
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