Just days after Vietnam broke ties and banned the importation of glyphosate into the country, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a statement calling the decision disappointing.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development banned the import of glyphosate on Wednesday after a number of lawsuits against Bayer in U.S. civil lawsuits alleging the weed killer caused cancer.
Glyphosate is an herbicide and is used in farming, forestry, urban, lawn and garden applications.
Ohio’s Country Journal reported that in March “a California jury awarded $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used glyphosate at an animal refuge for nearly 30 years. Last year, another jury in the state awarded $287 million to a groundskeeper with cancer who used the chemical. In all, there are 11,200 lawsuits aimed at glyphosate.”
Secretary Perdue made the following comments:
“We are disappointed in Vietnam’s decision to ban glyphosate, a move that will have devastating impacts on global agricultural production. As I’ve often said, if we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers worldwide need all the tools and technologies at our disposal.
“On numerous occasions, USDA has shared scientific studies with MARD from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other internationally recognized regulatory bodies concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans. This ban flies on the face of that scientific evidence. Furthermore, Vietnam has sidestepped its obligation to notify this regulatory change to the World Trade Organization.
“Vietnam also needs to look at the potential ramifications for its own 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.”