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Sale & Distribution of Weedicide Glyphosate is Banned

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

The State government of Kerala has banned the sale and distribution of the weed-killer glyphosate and all products containing it. It has been cited as having harmful effects on human health and the environment. 

According to a government order, the ban will take place for 60 days from February 2. The government has invoked Section 27(1) of the Insecticides Act, 1968 to ban the weedicide on the basis of a report by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and a recommendation by the Agriculture Director.  

Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, made a special statement in the Assembly regarding the ban and said, “The continued ban on glyphosate which is sold under trade names like Roundup and Glycel will depend on the KAU report on its biosafety aspects which is to be submitted within 60 days.” 


It is surprising to know that Glyphosate tops the sales charts among weedicides sold in the State. Of the 318.476 tonnes of weedicides used in 2017-18, glyphosate alone accounted for 129.436 tonnes. The ban on glyphosate is also necessary to strengthen the movement to transform Kerala into a fully ‘organic’ State. 

The Minister also said, “The application of harmful weedicides of all types has shot up by 71.25% compared to 2015-16 in the State. Application of chemical pesticides and fungicides has dropped by 17.2% during the same period. Although prescribed for use in tea plantations and fallow land, Glyphosate is now widely used in paddy fields before sowing.” 

He further added, “Nowadays, it is also used for crops such as pineapple and banana and even in households for removing grass from between interlocking tiles.”  

The government through its order has also outlawed the practice of pesticide companies and their agents approaching farmers directly with their products or conducting promotional campaigns and classes on their uses. 

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