Classified as a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's famous Roundup, will have its authorisation renewed in the European Union for ten years. Which countries have banned or restricted the use of this controversial weed killer?
In France, first, Emmanuel Macron had committed in 2017 to get out of glyphosate "at the latest" in early 2021, before going back on his promise. Since then, Paris has set itself the goal of moving away from the essential uses of weedkillers. In 2020, the French health agency ANSES announced gradual restrictions for its use in agriculture, with its use by individuals banned since 2019.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the use of glyphosate is banned for private individuals. In Portugal, its use is prohibited in public spaces. In the Czech Republic, it has been restricted since 2019. Luxembourg, which had banned the marketing of the product at the end of 2020, was forced to lift the ban in 2023 by court order. Similar situation in Austria: a parliamentary vote to ban glyphosate was annulled at the end of 2019 due to a procedural flaw.
Banned in Vietnam, in the process of being banned in Mexico
In the United States, glyphosate remains on the market, even though local restrictions limit its use. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reaffirmed that glyphosate is "probably not carcinogenic to humans." In Latin America, Mexico committed in early 2021 to a gradual ban on glyphosate until a total ban from March 31, 2024. In Asia, Sri Lanka has cracked down.
The herbicide, suspected of causing a new, chronic kidney disease among residents of rice-producing areas, was banned in June 2015. But in the absence of studies directly linking glyphosate to this disease, the ban was partially and then completely removed in November 2021. Finally, Vietnam announced a ban on the use of glyphosate in 2019, which came into full force in mid-2021.
As a reminder, in 2022, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), unlike the IARC, judged that the available scientific evidence did not allow it to be classified as carcinogenic.