Serbia "to follow EU's decision" on potential cancerogen

Serbia will "support" any decision made by the EU regarding trade in plant protection products containing the ingredient glyphosate.

Source: Tanjug
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The material is believed to be a human cancerogen.

The Serbian Ministry of Agriculture also announced that this means the country could ban or restriction trade and use of such products.

The announcement came after media worldwide recently reported that the World Health Organization said that glyphosate - an active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup - was probably carcinogenic to humans.

Glyphosate is an active ingredient which is on the list of approved substances in the EU and in Serbia, the Agriculture Ministry said, adding that "this means that products containing the material are sold in all EU member states, as well as in Serbia."

The Serbian list of approved plant protection products was taken over from the EU legislation - namely from the European Parliament and Council Regulation No. 540/2011.

The ministry added that the EU "must complete reassessment of the active ingredient glyphosate by 2020 - unless its use is prohibited or restricted before this date, based on research and other available data."

The ministry also said that "this decision will be support by the Republic of Serbia," by means of "modifying the list of approved substances."

Many media outlets, including Reuters and the Guardian, recently carried reports citing WHO findings, while doctors, scientists and environmentalists in Argentina elsewhere in Latin America have been the loudest in seeking a ban on Monsanto's product.

30,000 Argentinian doctors, members of the country's association of medical experts, warned that glyphosate "not only causes cancer, but is associated with an increased number of miscarriages, birth defects, skin, respiratory and neurological diseases."

There is concern elsewhere in Latin America, which is largely under GMO crops. It is estimated that the continent has 50 million hectares of genetically modified soybean and uses around 600 million liters of glyphosate each year. Monstanto's Roundup is used the most in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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