The Plant Protection Department under Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will ban the use of glyphosate, an active ingredient in many weed killers when there is enough evidence proving the herbicide has impacts on human health. — Photo nld.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Plant Protection Department under Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will ban the use of glyphosate, an active ingredient in many weed killers when there is enough evidence proving the herbicide has impacts on human health, said Hoàng Trung, head of the department.
Trung was answering media questions over the lawsuit against the firm Monsanto over claims it did not warn of the cancer risks of glyphosate-based weed killers.
At a California trial last week, Monsanto was found liable in the lawsuit and ordered to pay US$289 million in damages. The company said that it would appeal the verdict.
Trung said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has closely watched the case and is waiting for the final conclusion of the appeal in California in the next 45 days before banning glyphosate.
He said that Việt Nam had strict laws to manage the use of pesticides used in agriculture.
The decision made by the California jury showed progress, he said.
There had been debates over the cancer risks caused by glyphosate. Monsanto conducted some 800 scientific studies to prove glyphosate’s safety. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and other research institutes classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, he said.
In April 2016, the ministry halted new registrations of the substance in the country.
The department would continue to complete technical reports of substances including glyphosate based on recommendation by the scientific council, related organisations and individuals to collect enough evidence and submit it to the ministry for considering banning them, he said.
There were two different points of view from these agencies about glyphosate, Trung added.
According to Trung, Việt Nam is looking towards organic agriculture and recovering the environment for planting.
The agricultural sector does not encourage farmers to use or abuse chemical substances but apply scientific and technical innovations.
The department has tightened the management of pesticides, especially their origin, while using inspections to discard old and toxic pesticides.
In Việt Nam, most glyphosate-contained pesticides are supplied by Monsanto.
It is reported that as many as 30,000 tonnes of glyphosate is used in Việt Nam each year. This amount accounts for 30 per cent of total amount of pesticide and 60 per cent of weed killer used in the nation.
Glyphosate is mainly used in agriculture and forestry, for weeds in industrial areas, as well as on lawns and gardens. — VNS