Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Ban the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides

The Consumers Association of Penang calls on the authorities to ban the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides as it found to be hazardous to humans, wildlife and the environment. Glyphosate is the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, from Monsanto. In Malaysia there are about 172 herbicide products which contain glyphosate. 

Glyphosate is increasingly associated with health problems such as infertility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease and several forms of cancer. In addition to health risks for humans, the usage of glyphosate can also lead to loss of biodiversity and difficulties with purifying drinking water.
Recently the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a new analysis of the evidence on glyphosate which concluded that it is “probably carcinogenic to human”.

Glyphosate is a broad spectrum non-selective systemic herbicide. It is used to eliminate essentially all annual and perennial plants including grasses, sedges, broad- leaved weeds and woody plants. It can be used for a variety of crops, and in horticulture and landscaping. It has been used in our oil palm plantations.

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicide because it is the weed-killer that genetically modified corn and soybeans are engineered to “tolerate”. Due to this glyphosate is being sprayed over vast tracts of farmland as farmers are confident that their crops will not be harmed by the herbicide.

Glyphosate has already been banned or restricted in several countries including the Netherlands, France, Brazil, Russia, Mexico and El Salvador.

The majority of the glyphosate-containing herbicides are supplied with various surfactants, to make them water soluble. That allows the herbicide to spread over the plant leaves.

In some reports, the toxicity arising from glyphosate products is said to be enhanced by the surfactant incorporated into the formulation.

Glyphosate not only causes cancer. It is also associated with increased spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin diseases, and respiratory and neurological disease.

As the serious harm to health, wildlife and the environment caused by the use of glyphosate herbicides is clear, there is a compelling case for banning glyphosate-based herbicides worldwide and Malaysia should follow this trend.

In view of its toxicity CAP calls on the Ministry of Agriculture to ban glyphosate-based herbicide. Meanwhile agribusiness to focus on the application should move away from the use of toxic chemicals and to move towards the use of safer organic production method.

Press Statement, 26th May 2015


See also

Sri Lankan President orders to ban import of glyphosate with immediate effect

Fri, May 22, 2015, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today announced that the imports and release of the agrochemical Glyphosate will be banned with immediate effect. The release of already imported stocks is also barred.

The President made this announcement while participating in a function held to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity at the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment at Battaramulla.
Addressing the function, President Sirisena said he is satisfied to have taken a significant decision on behalf of the farmer fraternity today.

The President, who was the Health Minister of the former government, said the government has decided to totally ban the imports of Glyphosate, which is linked to the kidney disease, as the number of kidney patients was surging.

The President noted that certain firms made a request to sell the already imported stocks but he did not concede to their request.

During today's events to mark the Biodiversity Day, President Sirisena also opened a restaurant serving traditional Sri Lankan food and enjoyed a cup of Kenda (porridge).

Minister Duminda Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Nihal Rupasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture B. Wijeyeratne and Director General of Agriculture Department Dr. Rohan Wijeykoon also participated in the event.