French mayors want Macron to take action against glyphosate

"It is the state's responsibility but the state does nothing! We cannot sit by idly and find ourselves in a court of law where we are found guilty," the mayor of Langouet (Ille-et-Vilaine), Daniel Cueff, said. [Hedgehog94/Shutterstock]

Several mayors have asked French President Emmanuel Macron to take action with regard to banning pesticides, following the president’s calls for “moderation” during a Congress of Mayors which took place on Tuesday evening (19 November) in Paris. EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune reports.

During a keynote speech at the Congress, which took place at Porte de Versailles in Paris on Tuesday evening, Macron called for “moderation” with regard to “by-laws to ban pesticides”.

The phrase did not go unnoticed and was enough to annoy the officials who had already taken initiatives to ban pesticides and protect their population, and who are now waiting for court decisions.

For Daniel Cueff, the mayor of Langouet (Ille-et-Vilaine), who is not affiliated with any political party, “moderation is not enough to act”.

Pesticides-free cities put pressure on French government

Several French mayors have issued anti-pesticide orders out of precaution, putting pressure on the government, which has launched a public consultation on safety distances for the application of plant protection products. EURACTIV France reports.

“Act, instead of giving us lessons!”

“It is the state’s responsibility, but the state does nothing! We cannot sit idly by and find ourselves in a court of law where we are found guilty,” Cueff said.

The mayor also challenged the French president, telling him to “act instead of giving us lessons! The diseases of our farmers become our neighbours’ diseases”.

The head of state had already reacted to the issue this summer, saying he understood the motivations of the municipalities concerned.

Farmers hope EU Commission will block Austria’s glyphosate ban

Austrian farmers hope that the European Commission will not approve a ban on weedkiller glyphosate, recently pushed forward by the government in Vienna.

Pesticides ban 2.0

Last May, the mayor of Sceaux (Hauts-de-Seine), Philippe Laurent of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), had also issued an anti-glyphosate decree following a major consultation on the environment with 22,000 of the commune’s inhabitants.

“We don’t have agriculture but railways. Operators continue to use them, but this summer they committed to stop using them by the end of the year,” explained Laurent.

The use of pesticides is prohibited in all public spaces, except for cemeteries and sports fields.

Besides, Joel Labbé, environmental senator of Morbihan [a department in Britany], who introduced the first bill, also intends to introduce a second draft to extend the ban to non-agricultural issues, such as the maintenance of green spaces in private condominiums.

“In the Senate, we have a majority on the issue of protecting public health and biodiversity,” insisted Labbé.

“There is an urgent need for action. Alternatives do exist!” he added.

No ‘magical’ alternative to glyphosate in the next 5 years, Bayer official says

In the next five years, no alternative to glyphosate is going to “magically” appear in the market,  Dr Bob Reiter, a high-ranking official from Bayer, told EURACTIV.com, referring to the controversial herbicide that has been the subject of heated debates across Europe.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.