Schauvliege to forbid Roundup for private use

The Flemish Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege (Christian democrat/CD&V) has voiced her intention to forbid the use of products containing glyphosate, such as the herbicide Roundup, for Flemish members of the public. The product may cause cancer, although more scientific research has to be done on the matter.

It recently emerged that America's chemical industry giants Monsanto may have influenced scientific research on the matter to give their products a better image.

Roundup has been under fire for some time in Belgium. The news triggered a new debate on the matter in Flemish Parliament. Schauvliege was questioned on the matter, and announced late yesterday that she intends to forbid the private use of the product at least temporarily. It's a different story for professional use, for example in the farming industry.

The Farmers' Union already responded by saying "Roundup shouldn't be banned on the basis of emotional decisions."

While Schauvliege may forbid the private use - this will be checked by teams patrolling the Flemish region, she said - this is very hard to check in practise. A more efficient measure would be to have it taken from the shelves in the stores altogether, as the socialists of SP.A are asking, but this is a federal issue in which the regional minister Schauvliege cannot interfere.

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