Brazil court overturns earlier ban on glyphosate

BRASÍLIA, Brazil (Reuters) — A Brazilian court overturned an injunction Sept. 3 that banned products containing glyphosate.

The decision knocked down a previous ruling that had been set to disrupt the soybean planting season set to begin this month.

A Brazilian judge ruled last month to halt the registration of new glyphosate-based products in the country and to suspend existing registrations after 30 days until health agency Anvisa issues a pending ruling on its safety.

That 30-day deadline had been due to pass Sept. 3, just as the first month of soybean planting gets under way. The injunction and the subsequent reversal also applied to the insecticide abamectin and the fungicide thiram.

Judge Kássio Marques of the regional federal court of the first district in Brasilia based the ruling suspending the injunction on the government’s argument that banning glyphosate and the other two chemicals could harm the country’s economy.

Marques said in the decision “nothing justifies the suspension and abrupt removal of registrations of products containing glyphosate, abamectin and thiram as active ingredients without an analysis of the serious impacts on the country’s economy and population in general.”

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of soybeans and relies heavily on the herbicide, with Bayer AG’s Monsanto SA the biggest seller of glyphosate products in the country.

“This ruling is very good news for Brazilian growers, who count on glyphosate-based herbicides to control weeds and grow their crops safely and effectively,” Bayer crop science chief Liam Condon said.

Anvisa, which has been reviewing glyphosate’s safety since 2008 without issuing a decision, said it was aware of the ruling and would take the necessary legal and technical steps in response.

Federal prosecutors brought the lawsuit to pressure Anvisa to make a decision, saying glyphosate and the other chemicals deserved to be re-evaluated based on new evidence that has come to light on their safety.

Bayer and Monsanto say decades of use and numerous reviews of glyphosate show the chemical to be safe. 

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