France to ban some glyphosate weedkillers

France’s health and safety agency has decided to ban weedkillers that combine the chemicals glyphosate and tallowamine because of concerns over possible health risks.

Agweek reports the ANSES agency has sent a letter to manufacturers informing them that it intends to withdraw the authorisation for such products, said Francoise Weber, the watchdog’s deputy director-general. “It is not possible to guarantee that compositions containing glyphosate and tallowamine do not entail negative effects on human health,” Weber said.

Glyphosate, a common ingredient in weedkillers such as Monsanto’s Roundup, has been the subject of fierce debate in the past year since a World Health Organisation body classified it as probably carcinogenic to humans, and European Union countries are discussing whether or not to extend its EU-wide licence. France’s environment minister has been pushing for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate-based products.

Earlier in April, global food and farming union IUF and pesticides safety campaign PAN International called for a deluge of messages to be sent to the European Commission and its relevant bodies “urging them to ban glyphosate in the EU and to provide comprehensive support for a safer, saner food system which does not put agricultural workers in the front lines of exposure and inject massive quantities of toxic chemicals into the environment”.

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