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21 January 2020

Luxembourg to become the first EU country to ban glyphosate at the end of 2020

Photo by Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

Luxembourg is set to become the first EU country to completely ban products based on glyphosate. The ban will come into effect in three phases: authorisation to market it will be withdrawn on 1 February 2020. Then there will be a period lasting until 30 June allowing stocks of it to be run down. Finally, the total ban on the use of herbicides containing glyphosate will come into effect on 31 December 2020. This measure was first announced in December 2018 in the context of the coalition agreement underlying the formation of a new government made up of the Socialists, Liberals and Greens.

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According to government sources, nearly 60% of the country's farmers have already stopped using glyphosate.

In other EU countries, measures partially banning glyphosate have already been adopted. In Austria, parliament voted to ban glyphosate on 2 July 2019. However, on 9 December 2019, the Austrian home affairs ministry announced that the ban would not be implemented, thereby avoiding a conflict with the European Commission on a procedural aspect (the lack of notification of the measure to the European Commission). It is now up to the new Austrian government formed on 7 January 2020 to decide the question. However, this government is a coalition between the Christian Conservatives, in favour of retaining glyphosate-based herbicides on the national market, and the Greens, traditionally in favour of banning it. In September 2019, Germany announced that it would ban such products as of 2023, even if the European Union renewed the authorisation of this substance.

Despite a wide-ranging debate, authorisation of glyphosate in the European Union was renewed for a further five years in December 2017. However, there is nothing stopping a re-examination of this authorisation before it expires in 2022. In other parts of the world, glyphosate has already been banned, for example in Vietnam and Thailand. Mexico is also planning to ban it.

Photo Credit :Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

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