Glyphosate is a highly controversial weed killer. The railway wants to use it on its routes for the last time this year. But the alternative cannot be used immediately.
Deutsche Bahn wants to stop using the controversial weed killer glyphosate this year. The group announced this on Sunday. In the future, therefore, weeds on railway lines are to be removed with mowing machines and with the environmentally friendly pelargonic acid.
In addition, the railway wants to control the vegetation digitally. From when the pelargonic acid can actually be used now depends on the Federal Railway Authority (EBA). Its approval for the agent is still pending, it said. “Bild am Sonntag” had previously reported. The railways had already announced in 2019 that they no longer wanted to use the herbicide.
“We keep our word and will completely phase out the use of glyphosate by 2023,” said CEO Richard Lutz. “After examining a large number of alternative processes, I am pleased that we can rely on an ecological alternative to glyphosate in the future.” According to Deutsche Bahn, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) approved pelargonic acid in February in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Transport.
According to Deutsche Bahn, the use of glyphosate has more than halved since 2020 compared to 2018. In 2017, the company used 67 tons of glyphosate. The weed killer is approved in the EU until the end of 2023. In 2015, the WHO cancer research agency IARC classified it as “probably carcinogenic” for humans.