France bans sale of 1,500 pesticides

 
Published: Friday 29 February 2008

France has announced a ban on the sale of 1,500 pesticides from February 1, 2008. The move is part of the country's plan to phase out the use of 53 phytosanitary substances, used in pesticides, over the next decade.

Environmentalists say these substances are suspected of putting farmers' health at risk. In the first phase, licences for products containing 30 phytosanitary substances are scrapped this year. "These substances are contained in more than 1,500 pesticides and are considered the most worrying," notes a press release by the ministry of agriculture and fisheries. The sale of the pesticide will remain authorized until the end of April 2008 and farmers may use them until the end of the year.

The ministry has granted a one-year delay for three products made of carbendazime, molinate and dinocap, for which alternative solutions will be made available by 2009.

The move has hit some of the world's leading pharma companies including us companies Dow Chemical and DuPont, Germany's Bayer and basf and Switzerland's Syngenta. The companies have accused France of flouting eu standards as 10 of the substances France wants to ban are still authorized for use in other countries in the eu.

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