French President Emmanuel Macron has announced an exemption to the country's ban on glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup.
By Laurence Banville
French President Emmanuel Macron has walked back his promise to completely ban glyphosate, the world's most popular herbicide, saying farmers who have no other credible alternatives will still be able to use the weed-killer, according to Euractiv.
France Allows Exemption To Planned Glyphosate BanIn November, Macron announced that his government would implement a full ban on the herbicide beginning in 2021. France's opposition to glyphosate stands in stark contrast to the relative acceptance of Europe in general. European Union member states voted in November 2017 to renew the weed-killer's commercial license for another five years.
As the votes were tallied, France stood strong as one of the last remaining hold-outs to resist the herbicide's approval. Macron's decision to implement a ban within France's borders, as Reuters reports, outraged French farmers, who said there was no possible way to find a viable alternative to glyphosate within three short years.
Apparently, Macron heard their complaints and relented. "I will never impose a ban if there is no credible alternative," the President said in a visit to the agricultural region of Auvergne. "We cannot leave a farmer without a solution or with a solution that would not be tenable because someone else nearby would not have the same constraints."
In a speech, Macron said the proposed exemption, which would allow for the continued use of glyphosate as a farmer searched for other options, was likely to affect around 10% of the businesses in France that currently rely on the chemical.
Roundup Lawsuits In CaliforniaGlobal agrochemical giant Monsanto is the world's leading supplier of glyphosate, but the company's prized product has come under international fire over health and environmental concerns.
In the United States, thousands of patients have drawn a link between glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's blockbuster weed-killer Roundup, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, filing personal injury lawsuits en masse. Most of the cases are consolidated in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, a federal court in San Francisco.
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