France Takes Charge on Using Roundup’s Main Ingredient Glyphosate


On October 9th of 2020, France took Monumental movement to eradicate the use of weed killer glyphosate from their country. They announced that their department for health and environment would impart restrictions on using any weed killer that includes glyphosate as part of farming, but they did not impose a full ban.

While France certainly took charge and is the European Union’s top agricultural producer, they did not enact a full ban as there are some areas that lack access to non-chemical alternatives. The ANSES set out the rules on Friday, which involve the French government planning to completely phase out the use of Glyphosate by 2021. This step is part of a huge Global debate that involves the safety of using glyphosate. 

Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Bayer Monsanto’s product, Roundup. It’s one of the most widely used weed killers in both residential and commercial farming communities. But, back in 2017 French President Emmanuel Macron promised to end the use of glyphosate throughout France. Initially this promise included a three-year deadline, but as 2020 approached it was clear that there were some areas where the presence of glyphosate drastically impacted the crops.

The restrictions imposed in this recent push include that glyphosate is only allowed under vines and trees, where the option of mechanical weeding is not available or extremely costly. The weed killer is no longer available for use in the rows between vines or fruit trees, or in crop fields. In another six months, even more restrictions will become imposed. Companies which use glyphosate in their weed killers will have to undergo a review process within the government. The time needed to review those products will push the full ban on glyphosate back into 2021. There’s also concern over how non-farm professionals use glyphosate. These account for approximately 1.5% of the glyphosate used in France but do include Railway embankment. These non-agricultural uses of glyphosate would remain permissible. 

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