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France Calls For Ban on Glysophate

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France’s minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, has called for a ban on glysophate mixed with certain adjuvants (additives) due to its perceived risks to human health. Ségolène Royal alled for ANSES—France’s food, environment and health agency—to withdraw authorizations on herbicides containing glyphosate mixed with the adjuvant tallow amine, according to Le Monde.

Tallow amine, or polyethoxylated tallow amine, aids the effectiveness of herbicides such as glyphosate. The chemical is contained in Monsanto’s popular weedkiller Roundup. While the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer questions its safety, the European Food Safety Authority says it’s safe.

More than 90 scientists from around the world have written an open letter urging European health and food safety commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, to “disregard the flawed EFSA finding on glyphosate” in policy-making for Europe. And France’s ANSES released an opinion that reviewed the IARC’s and EFSA’s conflicting results and concluded that glyphosate is indeed a suspected carcinogen.

“We are a group of independent academic and governmental scientists from around the world who have dedicated our professional lives to understanding the role of environmental hazards on cancer risks and human health,” the scientists wrote.”We reviewed the two differing decisions on the human carcinogenicity of glyphosate and conclude that the IARC decision is by far the more credible.”

According to Eco-Watch in the U.S., tallow amine can be found in several household products.  The U.S. Geological Survey considers polyethoxylated tallow amine to have known toxic effects on aquatic organisms. “Since glyphosate is one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, the findings could indicate that POEA may be widely available for transport into surface water and groundwater,” the USGS said.

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