CEJ files FR against lifting glyphosate ban


The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) filed a Fundamental Rights Petition before the Supreme Court yesterday (7), seeking an interim order suspending the operation of the Gazette issued permitting the importation of glyphosate.

In 2015, the then Registrar of Pesticides banned the import of glyphosate for commercial use by way of an order made under Section 11 of the Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 of 1980, in the interest of the public and on the advice of the Pesticides Technical and Advisory Committee and published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 1937/ 35.

The said Gazette cancelled every licence issued in respect of pesticide containing the active ingredient glyphosate

The Petitioner noted that re-introducing glyphosate will result in adverse effects on health and the environment. It was stated in the Petition that glyphosate has given rise to global concerns for its proven potential risk to cause various cancers, including non-Hodgkin symptoms, a deadly cancer of the immune system and has been identified as the World’s most ubiquitous weed killer that raises by 41 per cent the cancer risk of those exposed to it.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies, issued Extraordinary Gazette No. 2291/44, dated 5 August, 2022, in terms of the powers vested in him by Section 20 read together with Section 4(1) and Section 14 of the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, No. 1 of 1969 as amended by Act, No. 48 of 1985 and Act, No. 28 of 1987 permitting the importation of glyphosate under the licence issued by the Controller-General of Imports and Exports, subject to the recommendation of the Registrar of Pesticides.

Wickremesinghe, Registrar of Pesticides, Minister of Agriculture, Director General of Health Services, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, Consumer Affairs Authority, Central Environmental Authority and the Attorney General were named as respondents to the Petition.

BY FaadhilaThassim