There probably isn’t a product that has stirred up as much controversy as Roundup. While one part of the world officially banned a form of the weed killer this week, another part has re-approved its active ingredient for long-term use.
France has taken Roundup Pro 360 off store shelves after a court ruled that the French food and environmental agency (ANSES) did not consider potential health risks when approving the product in 2017.
In a statement, the tribunal said it made its decision based on scientific studies and animal experiments showing Roundup Pro 360 is suspected of being toxic for human reproduction and aquatic life.
Roundup contains a chemical called glyphosate, an ingredient used in many different herbicides. Critics believe it causes cancer.
The ban in France takes place effective immediately, and various environmental groups are hoping the ruling will eventually extend to all Roundup products since they all contain glyphosate.
An outright ban of glyphosate in France is possible; French president Emmanuel Macron has promised to get rid of it by 2021.
Meanwhile, In Canada
Government scientists are standing by their approval of the Roundup weed killer, rejecting theories it poses health risks.
Health Canada had recently launched a formal review of the 1,300 studies it used to approve the continued use of glyphosate after environmental organizations alleged the material was tainted, sometimes even ghostwritten by Roundup’s original parent company, Monsanto.
Those accusations stemmed from a landmark court case in California, where Monsanto has been ordered to pay a former school groundskeeper $78 million (initially $289 million) in damages. Dewayne Johnson alleges his continued use of Roundup led to his terminal diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
During the trial, documents were introduced suggesting Monsanto had manipulated multiple studies on its product to downplay any potential cancer risks associated with using it.
The formal review in Canada involved 20 scientists not involved with the original approval process of glyphosate in 2017.
They say the “Monsanto papers” are mainly reviews of studies, not actual academic work, and that glyphosate is safe as long as the products containing the chemical are used correctly.
And In The United States
Monsanto faces more than 9,300 lawsuits in federal and state courts over Roundup’s safety.
The next trial is set to begin in San Fransisco on February 25th. Edwin Hardeman alleges he also developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using the Roundup herbicide for years to control poison oak and weeds on his property.