U.S. Ag Secretary Expresses Disappointment in Vietnam Glyphosate Ban
The recent court battles over glyphosate’s safety in the U.S. have generated plenty of headlines around the globe. Now, however, one spot on the map where the herbicide is widely used has decided that “guilty” verdicts in the courts are enough evidence to restrict more of the product from coming into their country.
In late March, Vietnam announced that it had banned the import of all glyphosate-based herbicides immediately, based in part upon the two verdicts that glyphosate contributed to certain cancers now present in the plaintiffs.
“As soon as there was information that the second trial in the U.S. ruled that glyphosate was related to cancer, we put a ban on the import of new herbicides containing the active ingredient,” said Hoang Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). He added that while this ban applied to importation of new glyphosate shipments, glyphosate-based herbicides already in Vietnam could still be traded normally.
A few weeks later, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, issued a statement expressing disappointment in Vietnam’s decision to ban glyphosate imports.
“On numerous occasions, USDA has shared scientific studies with MARD from the EPA and other internationally recognized regulatory bodies concluding glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans,” said Perdue in a released statement. “This ban flies in the face of that scientific evidence. Furthermore, Vietnam has sidestepped its obligation to notify this regulatory change to the World Trade Organization.”
Perdue also asked MARD to consider the country’s farmers. “In addition to the immediate effect of slowing the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, there’s the very real risk that Vietnam’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemical products in place of glyphosate.”
It will be interesting to see if more countries follow Vietnam’s lead when it comes to using glyphosate, especially as more glyphosate safety trials begin taking place in the U.S. during the next few months . . .