French Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume has confirmed that France will eliminate the use of glyphosate weed killers by 2021, with just some limited exceptions.
The ban will come into effect on 1 January 2021, although M. Guillaume hinted that exceptions could be granted for agricultural production in specific cases where no alternate product was available, but added that these would have a strictly limited scope and duration.
He also announced that France plans to cut pesticide, insecticide and fungicide usage in half by 2025 and praised organic and biodynamic farming, urging farmers to revert to the methods used by their grandparents. He said his goal as Minister was to reduce or eliminate the dependence of French agriculture on any active products, not just glyphosate. As part of this from 2015 there must be complete separation between organizations selling products and those providing production advice to farmers meaning cooperatives will no longer be able provide technical advice to farmers and sell the products for use.
His comments were met with anger by most French farmers. France’s main farming union, FNSEA, warned that reverting to this style of production could reduce production by 30 to 40 per cent. They added that on average French farmers face seven new insect pests each year and that the limited use of chemical products is vital for their control. They also pointed out that a reduction of fungicide use on grain crops could lead to widespread infestation by dangerous fungi such as ergot.
Photo Caption: France’s environment minister wants to cut the use of all pesticides in half by 2025
Photo Credit: pxhere