On Tuesday, a French court canceled the license for Roundup Pro 360, one of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkillers, over safety concerns, saying that the “approval granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro 360 had failed to take into account potential health risks.”1 The ban is immediate and surely another blow to the new Big Ag/Big Pharma conglomerate Bayer. (Don’t forget, they’ve already lost one high profile case and there are still thousands of lawsuits against them in the pipeline.)
Bayer said it disagreed with the decision, cited the scientific studies showing glyphosate to be safe, and said it would consider its legal options:
“Bayer disagrees with the decision taken by the Administrative Court of Lyon to cancel the marketing authorization for RoundUp Pro 360. This product formulation, like all crop protection products, has been subject to a strict evaluation by the French authorities (ANSES), an independent body and guarantor of the public health security.”2
However, the French court disagreed saying ANSES had not respected a precautionary principle in French law when they didn’t conduct a specific evaluation of health risks on Roundup Pro 360:
“Despite the European Union’s approval of the active substance (glyphosate), the court considered that scientific studies and animal experiments showed Roundup Pro 360 … is a potentially carcinogenic product for humans, suspected of being toxic for human reproduction and for aquatic organisms.”3
Corinne Lepage, a former French environment minister and member of environment association CRIIGEN that brought the court case called the win “a great first, which must be repeated,” via Twitter.
(I’m shocked they didn’t do more before now, especially after finding them responsible for a farmer’s health back in 2015…)
Glyphosate itself is set to be completely phased out in France within three years.