French mayors defy government with local bans on pesticides and herbicides


A growing number of French mayors have issued by-laws this year banning the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in their communes. But these have been regularly overturned by local administrative tribunals which have ruled the measures to be illegal as only central government has the power to issue such prohibitions. Earlier this month, however, a tribunal upheld the by-laws issued by the mayors of two Paris suburbs, ruling that the government had failed in its responsibilities to protect public health. With nationwide municipal elections due next spring, the issue is fast developing into a political hot potato for President Emmanuel Macron who has insisted that the rebel mayors must abide by the law.

French minister hails Monsanto verdict, slams political 'indifference'

International — Link

French environment minister Nicolas Hulot has applauded a Californian court judgment which found agrochemical giant Monsanto did not warn of the serious health risks of using its herbicide Roundup, ordering it to pay nearly $290 million to a school groundskeeper who developed terminal cancer after using the product, adding that he hoped the ruling 'corrects the indifference of politicians' over the dangers of the weedkiller's key compound glyphosate. 

French parents of malformed child take on Monsanto


Glyphosate, the compound used in the herbicide Roundup manufactured by US agrochemical corporation Monsanto, which earlier this month was acquired by German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer, is suspected by several scientific studies of being carcinogenic, and notably of causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But now a French couple have launched a lawsuit against the firm over serious malformations of their son’s digestive and respiratory systems which they argue was caused by his mother’s exposure to glyphosate in the early weeks of pregnancy. Crucially, they say that Monsanto knew of the compound’s potential dangers, but failed to warn of them in product labelling. Dorothée Moisan reports.

France ‘committed’ to glyphosate ban despite vote

France — Link

French government statement came after National Assembly rejected moves to impose deadline for phasing out the herbicide.

The toxic progression of agrochemicals in France

France — Investigation

The European Union on Monday gave the go-ahead to extend the licence for sales of the herbicide glyphosate, recognised by the World Health Organisation as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, for a further five years. The French government, which voted against move, has decided to unilaterally limit the licence to market glyphosate to three years. But France remains Europe’s biggest user, by volume, of agrochemicals, including many considered by scientific studies to present a health risk. Mediapart, in partnership with online journal Mediacités, details here, region by region and with interactive charts, their sales in France by volume, which in turn provides an indication of where they are most employed.

French safety agency to ban weedkillers with glyphosate and tallowamine

France — Link

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, has stirred fierce debate since a WHO body said it was probably carcinogenic.

French ecology minister announces ban on Roundup weedkiller

France — Link

Monsanto product will be barred from self-service shopping outlets amid evidence that one of its constituents, glyphosate, is carcinogenic.