The ban on glyphosate by 2020 would have made Austria the first European country to ban the controversial herbicide. Voted in July by Parliament, this ban had taken the government by surprise that was not behind this initiative.
The ban on glyphosate was approved by an alliance of opposition members – Social Democrats, Greens, Far Right – and against the wishes of the ÖVP Conservatives, who are the main parliamentary group in the House.
The license for glyphosate in the EU runs until 15 December 2022. Its fate is debated in many countries, particularly because of the need to find alternatives to this widely used product by farmers.
France has planned “to get out of most uses on January 1, 2021, and all uses on January 1, 2023,” according to the government.
In Austria, no reflection had been taken on the implementation of the measure since its vote in Parliament. The agricultural world deemed the entry into force of January 2020 unrealistic and called the decision of Parliament “populist”.
Alles Europa news reports that according to news update reaching that the French Agency for Sanitary Security (ANSES) announced Monday the withdrawal of 36 products based on glyphosate, a herbicide that France decided to ban from 2021. This pesticide accounts for nearly three quarters of the tonnages of products used in 2018.
Currently, 69 glyphosate products are available on the market in France and have been the subject of an application for renewal of their authorization.
“By decision of ANSES, 36 of these products will be withdrawn from the market and will not be able to be used from the end of 2020, because of the insufficiency or the absence of scientific data allowing to avoid any genotoxic risk. “(Likely to damage DNA and cause genetic mutations), she said in a statement.
Following the extension for five years of the approval of the active substance by the European Union in 2017, “French Agency for Sanitary Security reviews the marketing authorizations for glyphosate products marketed in France and has launched an evaluation comparison with the alternatives available.
Alles Europa news reports Paris, without waiting for the end of the current process, “the Agency has notified the withdrawal of the authorizations of 36 glyphosate products”. For identical reasons, it “has notified a negative decision for 4 of the 11 new applications for authorization filed since January 2018 and under examination”.
These 36 products represented in 2018 “nearly three quarters of the tonnage of glyphosate products sold in France”, according to French Agency for Sanitary Security.
The assessment of the applications for authorization submitted by companies wishing to renew or obtain a marketing of glyphosate products “was specifically reinforced in 2017 following the re-evaluation of the active substance.
With more requirements involving the provision of additional data on risks to health and the environment “, according to French Agency for Sanitary Security.
“These new provisions require specific studies conducted according to standardized and robust methods,” says French Agency for Sanitary Security, which “continues to examine applications for authorization and re-authorization of glyphosate products”.
“Only products based on glyphosate that meet the efficiency and safety criteria defined at European level (…) and can not be satisfactorily substituted will benefit from access to the French market”, says French Agency for Sanitary Security, which will finalize the entire evaluation process “by the end of 2020”.
In 2016, the Joint WHO and FAO Committee on Pesticide Residues published a report stating that the use of glyphosate formulations is not necessarily a health hazard and indicates the maximum allowable daily intake limits (one milligram / kg body weight per day) for chronic toxicity.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has classified glyphosate as causing serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life, but has not found evidence that it is a carcinogen, mutagen, toxic to reproduction or toxic to certain organs.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (category 2A) based on epidemiological studies, animal studies, and in vitro studies.
In contrast, the European Food Safety Authority concluded in November 2015 that “this substance is unlikely to be genotoxic (that is, damaging DNA) or a carcinogenic threat to humans,” later specifying that although carcinogenic glyphosate-containing compounds may exist studies “that look exclusively at the active substance glyphosate do not show this effect.”
A review of the toxicological studies of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in 2013 showed that “the available data are contradictory and far from convincing” regarding the correlation between the effects of glyphosate formulations and the risk of various types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
A meta-analysis published in 2014 revealed an increased risk of NHL in workers exposed to glyphosate formulations.
While glyphosate and formulations such as Roundup have been approved by regulatory authorities around the world, concerns about their effects on humans and the environment remain and increase as global use of glyphosate increases. A number of regulatory and scientific reviews have evaluated the relative toxicity of glyphosate as a herbicide.
An increasing number of crops have been genetically modified to be glyphosate tolerant (e.g. Roundup Ready soybean, the first Roundup Ready crop also created by Monsanto) that allows farmers to use glyphosate as a herbicide after emergence against weeds.
Glyphosate is absorbed through foliage and minimally through the roots and transported to growth points. It inhibits the plant enzyme involved in the synthesis of three aromatic amino acids: tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine. Therefore, it is effective only for actively growing plants and is not effective as a herbicide until emergence.
From the late 1970s to 2016, the frequency and volume of use of glyphosate (GBH) herbicides in the world increased 100 times, and a further increase is expected in the future. This was partly due to the global emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds, which required wider application to maintain efficacy. Developing glyphosate resistance in weed species is becoming a costly problem.
Farmers quickly used glyphosate to control weeds in agriculture, especially after Monsanto introduced the glyphosate resistant Roundup Ready crops, allowing farmers to kill weeds without killing them. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the U.S. agricultural sector and the second largest (after 2,4-D) in home and gardening, government, industrial, and commercial applications.
It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and herbs that compete with crops. It was discovered as a herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970. Monsanto introduced it to the agricultural market in 1974 under the trade name Roundup. The last Monsanto U.S. commercial patent expired in 2000.
Alles Europa news reports that glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop drier. This is an organophosphorus compound, in particular a phosphonate, which acts by inhibiting the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvyl chimate-3-phosphate synthase.