France uses a new substitute of glyphosate as herbicide 05-22-2019

Researchers in France recently found that a type of natural compound originating from moss can kill other plants and hence can be used for weeding. Furthermore, it is less harmful compared to using glyphosate as herbicide.

A few days ago, researchers from CNRS (The French National Center for Scientific Research), Sorbonne University and other institutions reported in the latest issue of the magazine Chemistry-A European Journal that they chose a type of weed which was unprofitable to agricultural production as a sample and embedded the compound known as radulanin A into the sample germ. After the cultivation of the substrate, they found that the weed quickly turned yellow and died. This proves that the active dose of the compound has a comparable effect as glyphosate.

The study also shows that even though the potential toxicity of radulanin A toward human health as well as the natural environment is yet to be tested, the effect of radulanin A on the natural environment is far weaker than that of current synthetic herbicides. Researchers have now filed a patent on this research result and will continue to study the effect of the new herbicide substitute and its potential applications.

It is estimated that about 9,000 tons of glyphosate are used as herbicide each year in France. This type of herbicide is suspected by several studies to cause cancer and harm the environment. In the end of 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the government to cease the use of glyphosate and find a substitute within three years.

The WHO classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic back in 2015

Glyphosate was developed by American agrochemical magnate Monsanto and was introduced by Bayer, a German company in 2018. The court of Lyon in France decided to cancel the national marketing authorization on Roundup Pro 360, a glyphosate-based herbicide. The authorization was issued by ANSES (English: National Social Security Administration) in 2017.

As a commonly used herbicide, the safety of it has been questioned since 2015. In March 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic in humans". The decision made by the court of Lyon was also based on the study that glyphosate is likely to cause cancer. It also said that the approval of the herbicide product did not follow the rule based on the Preventive Principles of the French Constitutional Charter for the Environment, which is to ban any products that are potentially harmful. CRIIGEN hopes that the latest decision made by the court can help ban the use of all glyphosate-based products in France.

France decided to prohibit the use of glyphosate despite the extension by the European Commission

France is one of the first countries in European Union to oppose using glyphosate as herbicide. In November 2017, with the fierce controversy over the use of glyphosate among EU member states, European Commission decided to extend the use of glyphosate in Europe for five years. President Emmanuel Macron in France ordered the government to prohibit using it within three years right after the decision took effect. In January 2019, France imposed a ban on purchasing glyphosate, saying that amateur gardeners are not allowed to purchase glyphosate as herbicide. 


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