Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

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The 'glyphosate withdrawal' question in Reunion island : Will Bermuda grass knock down sugarcane as David did with Goliath ?


In Reunion island, glyphosate alone accounts for 25% of all pesticides quantities. Sugarcane growers use it in land preparation before plantation or replantation, and as directed applications against some perennial weeds (e.g. big grasses remaining inside the fields, Bermuda grass besides the field boundaries). Glyphosate withdrawal, if applied to the sugarcane industry in Reunion Island, would probably lead to an invasion of sugarcane fields by Bermuda grass escaping from the farm tracks. The glyphosate question thus, as a major societal problem, should be addressed with a scientific, multi-disciplinary approach including cost-benefits analysis, and excluding any prejudice. Against the mainstream trend, I defend a 'discriminate approach' and support the perspective of a tiny minority of agronomists and scientists who believe that generic herbicides should be considered as a common good, used in a sustainable way for soils aggradation and climate-smart farming.