Will legal ‘assault’ on Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller in US, EU threaten Africa’s access to glyphosate?

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A growing assault against glyphosate in the U.S. and Europe is threatening the future of the widely used weed killer in Africa due to the perceived concerns that it causes cancer.

The onslaught, which started with lawsuits in the U.S. before mutating to bans in Europe, is slowly gaining momentum, with regulatory authorities across the globe monitoring the unfolding events before deciding on the next course of action.

In Africa …. regulators have adopted a cautious approach while keenly following the events surrounding the controversial herbicide. This is despite pressure from civil society organizations to ban the weed killer developed by Monsanto.

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Although glyphosate remains in use in Africa, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) is running a campaign to push governments on the continent to ban the product. “It is imperative that African leaders heed the precautionary principle now and take urgent steps toward protecting their people  ….” ACB stated in a petition.

In Africa glyphosate is the basis of a number of agriculture systems, particularly the conservation tillage, a technique in which farmers stop plowing and plant immediately after the previous harvest. The technique helps to preserve the soil structure, reduce erosion, and save fuel.

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