French President Emmanuel Macron has long been on a mission to ban any product containing the herbicide glyphosate — in fact, he’s pledged to squash its use entirely by 2021. This week, his administration snagged a prime opportunity to advance that agenda: A tribunal in Lyon ruled that ANSES (the nation’s food and environmental safety agency) should have given more weight to potential safety risks when authorizing the use of Roundup Pro 360 in 2017.
As of Tuesday, Roundup Pro 360 is off the market in France.
While that doesn’t cover licenses for other Roundup products or any of the other products containing glyphosate, Macron and activist sectors are giddy at this development.
This change in France comes just a few days after Health Canada re-affirmed the science related to the health of glyphosate, which faced a handful objections after Canada’s conclusion was reached in 2017. Recently, Health Canada “concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate. Therefore, the Department’s final decision will stand.”
Those celebrating France’s latest move tend to latch onto a 2015 report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer on glyphosate’s carcinogenic effects on humans, even though every other governing body around the world re-evaluated their position in recent years and found glyphosate-based products to be perfectly safe when used according to their labels.
Bayer said that it disagreed with this week’s decision in France, and ANSES noted that it was continuing to examine the court ruling. The European Union as a whole still considers glyphosate to be a safe herbicide.