Brazil acts to keep controversial herbicide in use


Some 90% of Brazil’s soy crop is genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate, an herbicide whose toxicity has been the subject of a years-long government review. (Tiago Foresti/IPAM)

Fearing major economic fallout, Brazil’s government late this month appealed a judge’s recent order that use of an herbicide that is key to the cultivation of genetically modified soybeans be suspended while an ongoing reevaluation of its toxicity is completed. The herbicide, glyphosate, and two lesser-used chemicals—thiram, a fungicide, and abamectin, an insecticide—have been undergoing a toxicity review by Anvisa, the regulatory arm of the Brazilian Health Ministry, since 2008. On Aug. 3, a federal judge in Brasília ruled that the registration of all three agrochemicals be suspended within 30 days—and no new products containing them be registered—until Anvisa completes its reevaluation. Anvisa had set no deadline for concluding its reevaluation, but the judge, Luciana Raquel Tolentino de Moura, ordered... [Log in to read more]

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