New Rules for Glyphosate Use Near in Germany

23.07.2021 - New wide-sweeping restrictions on the use of glyphosate, active ingredient in herbicides such as the Monsanto-developed Roundup and the subject of thousands of lawsuits still dogging Bayer, will take hold in Germany at the end of July or beginning of August, the agriculture ministry said.

From that point onward, herbicides containing glyphosate will be prohibited in numerous applications. A ban on use of the chemical altogether is the prerogative of the EU, which will decide next year whether to extend its registration for crop protectants.

Under the new rules drawn up mainly at EU level, the herbicides may not be sprayed in public places such as parks and playgrounds, on crops before the harvest, water protection areas, soil threatened with erosion or certain types of weeds. The use of glyphosate will also be prohibited in garden products sold to consumers, reinstating restrictions dropped some years ago.

Twist in the latest US Roundup trial

Residential users charging that the chemical caused their cancer filed some of the lawsuits against Bayer, which inherited Roundup with the buyout of Monsanto in 2018. As the German group has lost all three of the flagship cases so far and failed to get court approval for its attempts to create a class action settlement for future claims, it has suggested it may stop selling the herbicide to the residential market.

A residential user claiming that Roundup caused her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma brought the glyphosate case against Bayer that is due to be heard  starting Jul. 26. In a surprise twist, US press reports said that in a pre-trial order, the judge hearing the case, Gilbert Ochoa of the Superior Court of San Bernardino County in California, upheld Bayer’s stance that federal law regarding pesticide regulation and labeling preempts “failure to warn” claims under state law. Thus, the plaintiff may not use this argument.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist