In Taiwan and other countries, glyphosate has been used widely as a non-selective herbicide over 40 years in crop lands and non-crop lands. However, public concerns about its environmental and health risks have increased rapidly because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified it as Group 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans) in 2015. From the viewpoints of environmental quality, food security and human health, it is necessary to regulate the release of glyphosate into the environment due to its massive use. The purpose of this case study was to analyze the historical consumption of glyphosate in Taiwan and also summarize its current regulatory measures through multi-ministerial levels. It showed that the sales quantities of glyphosate in Taiwan can be grouped into three stages, which include a ramping period (1984–1992), a stable period (1992–2007), and a declining period (2007–2016). These variations can be correlated with the annual price, manufacturers’ promotion and other non-selective herbicide competitors (i.e., paraquat and glufosinate), as well as the excellent action features of glyphosate. It should be noted that its sales quantities significantly increased from 3200 metric tons in 2015 to 4535 metric tons in 2016 mainly due to the official announcement of paraquat ban effective in February 2019. The core regulations for protecting food security and water quality from the use of glyphosate are based on its residual limits and standards under the authorization of the Food Sanitation Management Act (FSMA) and the Water Pollution Control Act (WPCA), respectively. More importantly, there are occasional reports of contamination by herbicides (including glyphosate) in drinking water sources. Unfortunately, glyphosate is not yet considered among chemical items when evaluating drinking water quality standards in Taiwan.
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