France’s Ecology Minister Segolene Royal on Sunday called on garden shops in the country to stop over-the-counter sales of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The move is part of an ongoing crackdown against chemicals seen as potentially harmful to humans.
Royal's announcement comes after French consumer group CLCV asked European Union officials, in June, to stop selling glyphosate-based products to amateur gardeners. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, said in a March report that glyphosate -- the active ingredient in Roundup -- was “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Royal said on French television on Sunday: "France must be offensive on stopping pesticides," Reuters reported. "I have asked garden centers to stop putting Monsanto's Roundup on sale."
Glyphosate was introduced in the 1970s under the Roundup brand, but has since been generically produced, and has gone on to be the most manufactured herbicide in the world, Phys.org reported.
France, the EU's largest agricultural producer, plans to ban the use of all pesticides for home-gardening by 2022. It is also considering restricting self-service sales of plant-protection products for domestic gardeners, which would take effect from 2018. However, in January, the French government pushed back the timeline for a proposed halving of all pesticide use by seven years to 2025.