Which Countries and US States are Banning Roundup?– The Carlson Law Firm
In April 2019, Malawi’s Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development announced the immediate suspension of all import licenses for glyphosate-based herbicides.
Since 2019, the West African country of Togo has prohibited the import, market or use of glyphosate and any product containing it.
The Punjab government banned the sale of glyphosate in October 2018, while the Kerala Government banned the sale, distribution and use of glyphosate and other products that contain glyphosate in February 2019.
Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture along with six other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since 2016, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.
On April 27, 2021, the Sri Lankan government decided to ban importing chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and to replace them with organic inputs and methods. This decision was supported by many, including the Global Alliance for Organic Districts, who petitioned for the President’s collaboration in order to include Sri Lanka to an international network of local organic districts.
In June 2021, the World Future Council awarded Sri Lanka, among 4 others, with a Special Future Policy Award for “most effective policy solutions that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health and the environment”. Sri Lanka’s pesticide regulations, as well as Sri Lanka‘s National Policy and Action Plan on Prevention of Suicide of 1997, have contributed to one of the greatest decreases in suicide rates ever achieved globally.
In 2014 Sri Lanka was the first state that banned glyphosate after the publication of a study on the correlation between the use of glyphosate-based pesticides and Chronic Interstitial Nephritis in Agricultural Communities (CINAC). In 2018, however, the Government lifted the ban on the weedicide glyphosate. In 2019, the two Sri Lankan scientists – authors of the above mentioned study – who were to receive a prestigious award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) were informed that their selection was placed “under review,” two days after they were announced as the recipients.
The ministry of health in Thailand issued a ban on the three toxic pesticides paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate in August of 2019 by ceasing licensing extensions. But after pressure from US businesses and the domestic industrial agriculture industry, the government of Thailand walked back the ban- originally intended to begin December of 2019- to just a restriction of glyphosate within maximum limits.
In 2019, after a second trial verdict in the United States linking glyphosate to cancer, Vietnam banned all imports of pesticides with the active ingredient in order to phase out national use. Vietnam also banned national trading of glyphosate pesticides.
Several municipalities and school districts across the country are taking measures to restrict or ban the use of glyphosate and some of them use alternative non-chemical methods for weed-control in public areas. While the Victorian state government has launched its own review of glyphosate as a matter of precaution.
Following a series of massive jury verdicts in Roundup cancer lawsuits in the United States, the Australian state of Victoria launched its own review of glyphosate. Two councils in Sydney have either banned or are in the process of banning glyphosate use, and eight other councils are reviewing the chemical.
According to local sources, Fiji is now moving towards a full ban on glyphosate-based herbicides, after the sugarcane industry announced that glyphosate will be banned for use on sugarcane farms in the country from December 31st 2020 onwards.
In 2017, the cities of Auckland and Christchurch passed a resolution that all public places in its area are free from chemicals for weed and vegetation control.
In 2017, European citizens have joined forces through the ECI – European Citizens Initiative to Stop Glyphosate. Within five months, more than one million EU citizens joined the ECI to revoke the authorization of glyphosate use in all member states and to reform procedures for the approval of pesticides in Europe. This is not a “binding” instrument, but the European Commission is obliged to respond and thus to also give political insight into the subject.
Six member states that opposed the re-authorisation glyphosate, the world’s most commonly used weedkiller, sent a letter to the European Commission in December 2017 asking the EU executive to conduct a study and look into alternatives to the controversial substance. In their letter to Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and EU health chief Vytenis Andriukaitis, the six ministers of agriculture or environment from France, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Malta reiterated their “concerns” about the risks of the use of glyphosate.
Glyphosate is currently approved in the EU until 15 December 2022. Therefore, glyphosate can be used as an active substance in Plant Protection Products (PPPs), until that date, subject to each PPP being authorised by national authorities following an evaluation of its safety. On 10 May 2019, the Commission appointed four Member States (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) acting jointly as ‘rapporteurs’ for the next assessment of glyphosate – this group of Member States is known as the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG). On 12 December 2019, the Glyphosate Renewal Group (a group of companies seeking the renewal of approval of glyphosate in the EU), sent an application for the renewal of approval of glyphosate post-2022 to the AGG, the other Member States, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission. This application formally initiates the renewal process in the EU as provided for by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.
On June 15, 2021, four EU member states (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) released a statement which concluded that glyphosate does not pose risks for human health. Such a conclusion contradicts scientific evidence of the association between exposure to the popular pesticide and the development of cancer. This announcement represents the first step in the new safety assessment of glyphosate, the current market approval of which will expire in December 2022.
In July 2019, the Austrian parliament passed a total ban on glyphosate, which was due to come into force on January 1st, 2020, but the country’s caretaker leader announced she would not sign the ban into law, currently tabling the bill.
In Belgium, the use of glyphosate was first banned by the Regions. But the Federal remained in charge of its marketing. Since 2018, the marketing, sale and private use of all herbicides, such as “Roundup”, is prohibited. Since the 31st of December 2018, the sale of selective herbicides (for example, herbicide that removes dandelions, daisies, etc. in a lawn) is also prohibited. The Brussels government banned the use of glyphosate on its territory in line with the region’s “zero pesticides” policy, but the European Commission rolled it back in October 2018.
In September 2018, the agriculture ministry of the Czech Republic announced that it will limit the use of substances containing the controversial glyphosate weedkiller as of the following year.
In 2015, a Danish authority declared glyphosate a human carcinogen, as per IARC’s classification. In 2017, Aalborg Council, home to Denmark’s fourth-largest city, banned the use of pesticides in private yards and gardens. In July of 2018, the Danish government banned the use of glyphosate on all post-emergent crops and implemented new rules for alternative weed management.
In January 2019, French authorities banned the sale of a form of glyphosate-based weed-killer Roundup following a court ruling that regulators failed to take safety concerns into account when clearing the widely used herbicide. In May 2019, French Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume confirmed that France would eliminate glyphosate use by 2021 with limited exceptions. At the end of August 2019, the administrative court of Rennes ruled against a decree, issued by the mayor of Langouët (Ille-et-Vilaine) in Brittany, which imposed a distance of 150 meters between people’s homes and workplaces and chemically treated fields. In response, citizens’ movements expressed their outrage and the political debate became heated across the country. Around 56 other small French towns and villages have issued similar anti-pesticide orders and are putting pressure on the government, which launched a public consultation on safety distances. This was followed by the signature of an order, by the president of the Val-de-Marne departmental council banning the use of pesticides that contain glyphosate throughout the department on September 10th. On September 12th, 2019, the metropolitan areas of Paris, Lille, Nantes, Grenoble and Clermont-Ferrand also announced a ban on the use of pesticides in their territories.
Farmers in Germany will have to gradually reduce their use of glyphosate and stop using it completely from 2024 in order to preserve clean habitats for insects, under draft legislation passed by the country’s cabinet on February 10th, 2021. The law needs to be passed by both the Bundestag lower house and the Bundesrat upper house which represents the interests of the 16 regional governments in Germany, a process that typically takes several months.
Since EU reapproval of glyphosate-based weed killers in November 2017, environmental groups in Greece are putting pressure on the government to roll back its decision to market them in the country. This in spite of the fact that Greece had voted against the EU reapproval as in December 2017, it was one of the countries who sent a letter to the European Commission asking the EU executive to conduct a study for alternatives.
In August 2016 Italy’s Ministry of Health placed a number of restrictions on the use of glyphosate, including banning its use as a pre-harvest treatment, and in areas frequented by the public or by “vulnerable groups” including children and the elderly.
In 2014, the municipality of Mals held a popular referendum on pesticides, considering that in South Tyrol the average use per hectare is among the highest in Italy due to the apple monocultures. About 70% of the population entitled to vote, participated in the referendum and, with a large majority of 76%, voted to ban pesticides from the territory of Mals. However, the Regional administrative tribunal (TAR) blocked the vote from becoming operational.
Approximately 70 municipalities have banned or restricted the use of pesticides on the basis of the Precautionary Principle in the country. Among those are the four provincial capitals of Belluno, Bolzano, Trento and Verona. Regulations vary from banning the use of chemicals on private and public greenery in cities, to creating more strict and controlled safety distances between residential areas and fields where chemicals are sprayed. They are, as well, calling for larger areas to come under organic farming and for more protection for organic farms from accidental pesticide contamination. In Vallarsa municipality (province of Trento), citizens also succeeded in bringing about the application of the “Polluters Pay Principle”, whereby those who do not cultivate organically must activate an insurance policy for the compensation of expenses and damages caused by pollution due to their activity.
Since 1 January 2021, Luxembourg is the only EU country to have banned glyphosate. All plant protection products based on this controversial molecule are now banned in the Grand Duchy, in accordance with the coalition agreement dating from 2018.
In July 2018, the Government of Malta announced that products containing controversial weed killer glyphosate will be banned from public spaces.
In 2015, the Netherlands banned the sale and use of glyphosate-based herbicides for non-commercial use in the country.
In February 2016, the president of the Portuguese Medical Association called for a worldwide ban of glyphosate.
On 7 November 2017, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted a position concerning the approval of the active substance glyphosate: it issued a decision advocating the prohibition of glyphosate use and provided for an appropriate adaptation period for agriculture.
In 2016, a number of towns and regions in Spain agreed to ban glyphosate herbicides in public areas.
In 2017, the Swedish Chemicals Agency was planning to tighten the rules on the private use of plant protection products in Sweden. According to a report directed to the government, it will only be possible for private users to use products containing low-risk substances.
On June 13, 2021, Swiss citizens were called to vote for the outlawing of synthetic pesticides. A citizens’ initiative, turned referendum. In case the ‘Yes’ vote should have won, the ban would extend from agriculture, to private use, and to the import and marketing of foodstuffs containing synthetic chemicals. 1,279,825 votes and a turnout of 59.7% were unfortunately not enough, and the two publicly proposed initiatives were rejected.
In 2015 Switzerland supermarkets Coop and Migros, issued an independent ban on all products containing glyphosate from their shelves, while the Swiss government has blocked a proposed ban in 2017. Instead, Switzerland placed a ban on other common pesticide chemicals chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl to be instituted on July 1, 2020.
While not banned nationally, many towns and boroughs have issues restrictions or bans on several pesticides and herbicides, including glyphosate. For example, in 2015 Glastonbury’s Green party facilitated a ban on glyphosate pesticides. Glyphosate has also been banned in Frome, in public parks in London boroughs Croydon and Hammersmith and Fulham, Derry City in North Ireland, Glastonbury, Wadebridge, Midlothian, Northsomerset, Bristol, and Trafford due to health concerns. In Scotland, Aberdeen City became the first local authority in the UK to cut back on its use of herbicides, while The City of Edinburgh Council has been phasing out the herbicide since 2015, cutting total usage from 4,560 litres in 2016 to 2,175 litres in 2017.
In December 2020, the government announced that people will need a license to purchase glyphosate.
Following IARC’s study on Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup and its main chemical ingredient glyphosate, Bermuda has decided to suspend any importation of Glyphosate/Roundup until further research gives reason to lift the suspension. In 2017, the government relaxed its ban on glyphosate, allowing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to import restricted concentrations of glyphosate for roadside weed management.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
In August 2018, The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines placed an immediate suspension on the importation of pesticides that contain the acting ingredient glyphosate.
Following on from the conclusion of the International Agency for Research on Cancer that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, Argentina’s union of doctors and health professionals, FESPROSA, has issued a statement throwing the support of its 30,000 members behind the decision.
Civil society leaders and environmental groups in Argentina have called for an outright ban on the use of glyphosate, seeking to encourage a change in the way we grow our food. In Argentina, there are now more than 400 towns and cities with measures that restrict the use of glyphosate.
In 2018, a federal judge in Brasilia ruled that new products containing the chemical could not be registered in the country and existing registrations would be suspended within the next 30 days, until the government reevaluates their toxicology. But in February 2019 a Brazilian court overturned the ruling, while analysts at Brazil health agency ANVISA determined that the weed-killer glyphosate does not cause cancer while recommending a series of precautions be adopted in its use.
In 2015, Colombia stopped aerial spray of glyphosate-based pesticides to destroy illegal plantations of coca. In March of 2019, President Ivan Duque asked for the judicial ban on aerial glyphosate spraying to be lifted, but in July 2019, Colombia’s constitutional court maintained the ban, saying the government would first have to prove that the weedkiller is not harmful to human health and the environment.
Environmental and scientific movements across Costa Rica are mobilizing a national campaign to “detoxify” communities and public places which are leading to many herbicides-free zones.
In December 2015, The National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) of Costa Rica issued a guideline, which prohibits the use of glyphosate in the 11 Protected Wild Areas (ASP) of the country, as well as in the institution’s offices.
In 2013 El Salvador approved the amendment of a law which allows the prohibition of 53 chemicals, including Paraquat, Glyphosate and Endosulfan, but since 2016 there have been multiple attempts to roll it back. The legislation is therefore stalling.
In June 2020, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Mexico’s Environment Ministry, has announced that glyphosate-based herbicides will be phased out of use in the country by 2024 to protect human health and the environment. On December 31, Mexico published a final decree that calls for a phase-out of use of both glyphosate and genetically modified (GE) corn for human consumption in Mexico..
In February 2021, The Guardian reported that “Internal government emails reveal Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkillers.”
Canada’s largest agribusiness, Richardson International, will no longer accept oat crops that have been pre-harvest sprayed with glyphosate or any other chemical desiccants starting as of January 2021.
On December 17, 2018, Safe Food Matters (along with Friends of the Earth Canada, Prevent Cancer Now and Right On Canada) objected to Health Canada’s re-registration of glyphosate and called for immediate action by Canada’s pesticide regulator, PMRA. The request was rejected. SFM then applied in Federal Court for judicial review and asked again for the Minister of Health to consider establishing a review panel. The Federal Court on February 13, 2020 dismissed the application. The appeal process has been initiated.
The City of Vancouver has banned the public and private use of herbicides including glyphosate. The province of New Brunswick has reduced the use of herbicidal spray in 2019 and is working on further regulations. Eight out of the 10 provinces in Canada have some form of restriction on the use of pesticides, including glyphosate.
While the US is one of the top users of glyphosate worldwide, many officials on the state and local levels have implemented restrictions or complete bans on the use of pesticides in public spaces. These include: in 2018 Tucson, Arizona became the first city in the US to implement organic weed control; Anchorage and Skagway in Alaska; Boulder and Durango Colorado; Miami, Florida along with eleven other cities in the state; Chicago, Illinois in 2015 followed by three other cities; ten cities in the state of Massacheusets; Minneapolis, Minnesota; four cities in New Mexico; nine cities in Connecticut with a statewide ordinance to ban pesticide use specifically around daycare and K-8 grade schools; Dubuque and Story County, Iowa; Portland, Oregon has banned glyphosate for the last 30 years and has been followed by two other major cities in the state; twenty nine cities in Maine have some type of ordinance restricting use; seven cities in Washington state including Seattle; and two counties in Maryland have also banned private usage of the chemical.
In July 2021, Bayer announced that glyphosate-based herbicides will no longer be sold to U.S. gardeners as of 2023, following the litigation and claims over their weedkiller Roundup causing cancer.
On a statewide level New Jersey has issued statewide ordinances to encourage pest companies to transition away from toxic pesticide use. And in New York action is currently being taken to ban the purchase, distribution and use of pesticides statewide.
California is the state leading the fight against glyphosate and was one of the first to add the chemical onto a state list of carcinogens. Los Angeles County, in March 2019, issued a complete ban, while at least nineteen other cities, counties, as well as several independent school districts are following suit. For example, Herbicide Free UC Initiative in California is carrying out a campaign for a permanent ban of all pesticides on Campuses’ green areas and to fully implement organic techniques.
In Hawaii, in June 2019, after a Board of Education community meeting with Protect Our Keiki Coalition and Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the Hawaii Department of Education issued a memo prohibiting herbicide use on all island-wide school grounds.
In August 2021, “the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in response to a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, banned use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops, 14 years after public interest groups first filed a petition calling on the agency to do exactly that. The new rule will take effect in six months.”
The EPA is currently reviewing the safety of two dozen organophosphate pesticides and must complete its review by October 2022.