France takes Roundup weed-killer off market after court ruling

LYON (AFP) – French authorities on Tuesday banned the sale of a form of controversial weed-killer Roundup following a court ruling that regulators failed to take safety concerns into account when clearing the widely used herbicide.

Roundup, owned by Germany’s Bayer after its purchase of US agro-giant Monsanto last year, contains glyphosate which environmentalists and other critics have long believed causes cancer.

The French food and environmental safety agency ANSES said in a statement that sales of Roundup Pro 360 were banned as of Tuesday following a court ruling earlier in the day.

“As the ruling took effect immediately, market approval for Roundup Pro 360 has been cancelled,” ANSES said in a statement to AFP.

“The sale, distribution and use of Roundup Pro 360 are forbidden as of today.”

An administrative tribunal in Lyon, southeast France, ruled that ANSES should have given more weight to potential safety risks when authorising the use of Roundup Pro 360 in March 2017.

ANSES said it was “examining (the ruling) closely”.

Environmental activists hailed the ruling, noting a 2015 study by a World Health Organisation (WHO) agency which concluded that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic”.

File photo shows bottles of Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide at a store in Lille. – AFP