The government of the India state of Kerala on the tropical Malabar Coast has banned the sale and use of Monsanto’s Roundup and all other weed killers containing glyphosate, and ordered that pesticides be sold only by prescription from a government agriculture official. The decision comes just months after government officials in India’s Punjab announced it would ban the sale and use of all weed killers containing glyphosate, citing its “harmful effects on human health.”
Punjab’s Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee recommended in June that the herbicide be used only in tea gardens and non-crop areas. Since the state has no tea plantations and very few non-crop areas, there is no need for glyphosate. Thus, the ban became official in October.
Kerala’s ban was handed down this month after a 71 percent increase of glyphosate in the state was noted in the previous two years. Agriculture companies have also been asked not to send representatives to farmers to discuss pesticide use. The Kerala University was also asked to submit a study on the impact glyphosate has had on the state’s ecosystem.
In June, India’s Union Agriculture Secretary announced there was no need for a blanket ban on glyphosate, and that states could choose to restrict the chemical. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra have since restricted the sale and use of glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. Last August, a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper $289 million in damages after finding that his use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro pesticides, both of which contain glyphosate, contributed to his terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. Monsanto, which was recently acquired by Bayer AG, faces more than 9,000 similar lawsuits.
The News Minute
The Hindu Business Line