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Glyphosate-based weedkiller officially banned in Vietnam

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 20:10 GMT+7
Glyphosate-based weedkiller officially banned in Vietnam
Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, speaks at a press meeting on April 10, 2019. Photo: Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam has officially removed all types of weedkiller based on glyphosate, an active ingredient likely to cause cancer in humans, from the list of plant protection products allowed for use in the country.

Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, confirmed the information during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The removal of glyphosate-based herbicides is in line with Vietnamese law and international regulations, Trung remarked.

Glyphosate is an active ingredient that is widely used across the world as it is highly effective at killing weeds and plants.

The substance was registered in Vietnam is 1994, the official said, adding that a total of 104 products containing the active ingredient have been registered so far.

There are 54 safe and effective alternatives to glyphosate, Trung continued, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has taken certain measures to ensure that the ban of glyphosate-based weedkillers does not affect local farmers.

The prohibition came less than a month after a federal jury in San Francisco found that Roundup, a glyphosate-based weedkiller produced by Bayer-owned Monsanto, was a “substantial factor” in causing a California man cancer.

Shortly after the ruling in San Francisco, Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department issued a document requiring all organizations and individuals to stop importing herbicides that contain glyphosate.

The U.S. EPA, the European Chemicals Agency and other regulators have found that glyphosate is not likely carcinogenic to humans, according to Reuters.

The World Health Organization’s cancer arm in 2015 reached a different conclusion, classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Bayer has denied allegations that Roundup or glyphosate causes cancer, claiming decades of independent scientific studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use.

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