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Germany Intends on Banning Glyphosate by the End of 2023

The German government intends on gradually terminating the use of herbicides that contain glyphosate. The move is expected to be in effect by the end of 2023 after the expiry of the chemical’s ongoing approval period by the EU. It is a part of the country’s efforts to preserve the diversity of insects.

The ban was agreed by the cabinet on Wednesday. The insect conservation program seeks to gradually reduce the consumption of the weed-killer by prohibiting its use in gardens and city parks in the beginning, according to the policy roadmap. The use of the chemical will also be prohibited, according to the new laws and regulations, around grasslands, farmers’ fields, orchard meadows, and along banks of rivers and lakes where there is a larger population of pollinating insects.

Glyphosate is a herbicide which is used by farmers and gardeners to get rid of weeds and other unwanted growths. Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company, developed it under the brand name Roundup. The American company was acquired last year by German chemical giant Bayer. The German company deemed the chemical safe for use by human beings. However, a 2015 World Health Organization report linked the chemical with the risk of cancer.

The chemical was first banned by EU member Australia, followed by restrictions in the Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands and several parts of France. There have been additionally about 18,000 legal cases against the use of the chemical by people who claim that it caused cancer in their bodies. The use of the herbicide has been associated in drastically reducing the population of insect species such as bees and butterflies which help in pollination.

The out of patent weed-killing chemical is being marketed currently by several other companies such as Dow Agrosciences and German chemical giant BASF.

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