Ségolène Royal, the French Ecology Minister, has implemented a countrywide ban on the sale of Roundup, the herbicide produced by Monsanto.
The move follows the public identification of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a special division of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The herbicide, which remains the most commonly used weed-killer in the world, has been the subject of a fiercely protective image campaign by Monsanto.
Recently, a scientist who appeared on French television to endorse the herbicide went so far as to tell the host that “you can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.” When the host offered him the chance to do so, he declined, saying, “I’m not stupid.”
In a televised statement, Royal addressed the French people, saying: “France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides. I have asked garden centers to stop putting Monsanto's Roundup on sale.”