By Andrea Thomas and Kim Richters
Germany is to enact a complete ban on the controversial herbicide glyphosate from the end of 2023, part of an environmental protection program that the government cabinet agreed to on Wednesday, a spokesman for the German environment ministry said.
The government has shown concern about the decreasing number and variety of insects in Germany, and the ban of glyphosate, which reduces insects' food source by killing plants, aims to protect them. As part of the program, the German government will makes 100 million euros ($109.5 million) available annually for insect protection and research efforts.
It also plans to reduce the use of glyphosate significantly in the period leading up to the ban. The herbicide is approved until the end of 2022 in Europe.
The controversial herbicide is best known for being an ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup, a product produced by Monsanto, part of Bayer AG (BAYN.XE). The companies are facing lawsuits from more than 18,000 plaintiffs alleging that the product causes cancer.
A number of countries, including France and Austria, have already banned or placed restrictions on the use of the herbicide.
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