Popular roundup weedkiller taken off sale in France over safety concerns

Whether the use of glyphosate should be allowed in Europe has been an ongoing battle. However, a court ruling in France could bring activists one step closer to a ban on products containing the chemical, as they have complained for.

The product affected is Roundup Pro 360. Following a recent legal challenge, the weedkiller has now been taken off sale in France.

Currently, glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide in the world. And despite being used by a number of major companies in weed-killers, environmental and health groups have been calling for a total ban for some time.

This is due to scientific reports, and a WHO ruling, in which it was determined that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic”. Other studies, however, has proven that the chemical is safe to use, which has caused a great deal of confusion.

In light of the concerns, French President, Emmanuel Macron, has pledged to remove all products containing glyphosate from sale by the year 2021. The European Union has currently authorised its used until 2022, and it’s still unclear whether this will be renewed.

According to ANSES, the French Food and Environment Agency, who originally authorised the sale of Roundup Pro 360: “As the ruling took effect immediately, market approval for Roundup Pro 360 has been cancelled.The sale, distribution and use of Roundup Pro 360 are forbidden as of today.”

Roundup said in a statement that they plan to appeal the ruling. But, the tribunal, which took place in France last week, pointed out that there weren’t enough checks made on the weed-killer into any potential safety of health risks. ANSES said it was “examining (the ruling) closely”.

The move has been welcomed by environmental groups, with Corinne Lepage, a lawyer for the CRIIGEN genetics research institute noting: “It’s a major ruling because it should eventually cover all versions of Roundup, as the court determined that all products with glyphosate are probably carcinogens.”

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