Punjab Government has decided to ban the sale of all formulations containing weedicide glyphosate, a day after a court in San Francisco upheld the weed killer’s role in causing cancer.

“The use of glyphosate is regulated because of its harmful effects on human health,” an official statement said.

In an order issued on Tuesday, the State agriculture department had asked all pesticide manufacturers, marketers and dealers not to sell the formulations and concentrations of glyphosate and return the unused stock to the companies which have supplied them. 

It has also asked the licensing authorities to take necessary steps to remove the entries for glyphosate from the licences issued by them.

According to the Government, the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee has recommended this herbicide only for use in tea gardens and non-cropped areas. Since the State has no tea plantation and too little of non-cropped areas, there is no need for allowing the sale of glyphosate. Punjab is the fourth State after Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra to regulate the sale of herbicide.

A meeting convened by the Union Agriculture Secretary in New Delhi in June had felt that while there is no need for a blanket ban on glyphosate, States can restrict its sale through State-specific orders.

It further said that States which have no tea plantation can remove the entries for glyphosate from the licences issued by them, whereas States with tea estates can restrict the sales to those districts where tea plantations are located.