The case Bayer is fighting over
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level : Glyphosate
Mains level : Uses of Glyphosate
- German pharma company Bayer is facing thousands of lawsuits over one of
- 42,700 plaintiffs in the US are blaming Bayer’s herbicides for their
cancer, up from 18,400 plaintiffs in July this year.
- It should have warned of the alleged cancer risks.
What are these herbicides?
- The herbicides are based on a compound called glyphosate. First
developed in 1970, glyphosate is scientifically N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine
under the IUPAC system of nomenclature. It is applied to the leaves of
plants to kill weeds. It is widely used in India, too.
- According to a 2016 bulletin published by the Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR), the weedkiller in India goes by various brand
names, including Roundup, Glycel, and Brake.
- Describing the herbicide’s reach in the country, it says, “Glyphosate
was highly accepted by the tea planters in the past two decades.
- It has a very good market size in the tea sector of West Bengal and
- The consumption of glyphosate is highest in Maharas(h)tra as it is
becoming a key herbicide in sugarcane, maize and many fruit crops including
mango, banana, grapes, pomegranate and citrus.”
Why it is a worry
- In 2015, the Word Health Organization’s International Agency for
Research on Cancer published a study that found glyphosate is “probably
carcinogenic to humans”.
- Activists have been campaignig against glyphosate-based products.
- France, Italy, and Vietnam banned the herbicide’s use after the IARC
Q.1) Which among the following factors led to the advent of Portuguese in
1. Demand for oriental goods in Europe
2. Growth of the Turkish Navy
3. Invention and wide use of the mariner's compass
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) How Glyphosate has been formed? Why it is a worry for farmers?