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French PM Edouard Philippe reconfirms neonicotinoid ban

Staff Writer |
France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced that a ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on French soil will go ahead in September next year.

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That comes after public disagreement between the country’s environment and agriculture ministers over the incoming legislation. Phillipe said that plans to ban neonictoinoids had been reconfirmed at a meeting on 21st June.

France’s newly appointed Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert had previously aired the possibility of softening the ban. However, Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said there was no way his department would make any concessions on the issue.

France is the EU’s largest agricultural producer, and largest user of pesticides, though the national government has introduced several pieces of legislation designed to green the country’s agriculture industry in recent years.

The law, which was initially passed in August 2016, will ban neonicotinoid pesticides from 1st September 2018, apart from a few transitory uses, which will be permitted until 2020.

It goes further than current EU measures, which prohibit the use of three neonicotinoids on flowering plants.

However, the EU Commission is in the process of extending the restriction to all outdoor uses of the controversial pesticides.

The French government’s ban has been introduced in response to evidence of neonicotinoids’ impacts on bee health.

The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement on Monday that a paper on the pesticides’ impacts on human health will be available from public health watchdog ANSES by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister’s office also said that French authorities are working with the EU Commission in order to ensure that the French law complies with EU regulations.

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