Vietnam announced, effective immediately, they are banning the import of glyphosate after the most recent cancer trial verdict. Many in the agriculture industry were upset over the announcement, citing no new scientific evidence for the ban.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was frustrated in the announcement from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We are disappointed in Vietnam’s decision to ban glyphosate, a move that will have devastating impacts on global agricultural production. As I’ve often said, if we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers worldwide need all the tools and technologies at our disposal.
“On numerous occasions, USDA has shared scientific studies with MARD from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other internationally recognized regulatory bodies concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans. This ban flies on the face of that scientific evidence. Furthermore, Vietnam has sidestepped its obligation to notify this regulatory change to the World Trade Organization.
“Vietnam also needs to look at the potential ramifications for its own farmers. In addition to the immediate effect of slowing the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, there’s the very real risk that Vietnam’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemical products in place of glyphosate.”
CropLife Asia, the regional voice of the plant science industry, said, “The decision to take a safe and effective herbicide like glyphosate out of the hands of farmers signals a detour from the great progress and advancements made by Vietnam agriculture in this young century.
“Most discouraging in today’s decision is the process that yielded it. There were no consultations with the nation’s farmers and larger agricultural sector; no discussions with national or global experts; and no new scientific data to support taking this detour. To the contrary, the overwhelming evidence strongly supports ensuring Vietnam’s 25 million farmers continue to have access to safe and effective herbicides like glyphosate.”
Farmers around the world will closely be following the journey of glyphosate and its new battle to prove science over opinions.