Vietnam bans cancer-causing herbicides following Roundup verdict

By Bich Ngoc   April 11, 2019 | 01:59 am PT
Vietnam bans cancer-causing herbicides following Roundup verdict
Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed for sale at a garden shop at Bonneuil-Sur-Marne near Paris, France in this June 16, 2015 file photo. Photo by Reuters/Charles Platiau
The Plant Protection Department has announced that based on findings the substance causes cancer, herbicides containing glyphosate are banned.

The decision, issued Wednesday by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will take effect 60 days after its signing.

All herbicides containing glyphosate are forbidden from being produced in or imported into Vietnam.

Products containing glyphosate still circulating in the market would be allowed to be sold or used for up to one year from the day the decision takes effect, after which they would be collected and destroyed, said Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department.

It is estimated that Vietnam still has about five million liters of glyphosate in circulation.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used ingredient in weed killers. In Vietnam, the substance is contained in products of 104 brands that have been registered since 1994.

Last month, a San Francisco federal court ruled that Roundup, a glyphosate-based weed killer produced by American agrochemical giant Monsanto, could cause cancer.

The finding was a unanimous jury decision, Reuters reported.

Monsanto has repeatedly been accused of making products with adverse effects on human health. Vietnam has repeatedly asked that Monsanto and other U.S. firms compensate Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant containing the cancer causing dioxin. The infamous defoliant Agent has poisoned millions of people in Vietnam and caused deformities through generations.

Monsanto’s GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) crops are also highly controversial. Many countries require GMO products to be labeled as such and the company has spent millions of dollars trying to counter legislation to that effect in the United States.

German pharmaceutical firm Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion last year, has denied that glyphosate or Roundup, the widely used weed killer, causes cancer, and said that it was disappointed with the jury’s decision.

A study by researchers from the University of Washington last month said glyphosate raised the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41 percent, CNN reported.

Another study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that herbicides containing glyphosate have high chances of causing blood, lung and prostate cancer.

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