French President, Emmanuel Macron, has challenged the wine industry in France to stop using glyphosate-based weedkillers such as Roundup faster than any other sectors of agriculture in the country.
“I think we can have the first vineyards in the world without glyphosate, already the transition is going to happen in 80 percent of cases,” Macron said during a marathon visit to France’s annual agriculture show in Paris last weekend, AFP reported.
France’s health and safety agency (ANSES) revealed at the same agricultural show that they will be joining or launching an independent and comprehensive safety study on glyphosate-based herbicides, including an investigation into the carcinogenic and toxic effects of the chemical.
Sustainable Pulse urges people from all over the world to support the independent and comprehensive Global Glyphosate Study by donating here.
“We’re going to stop using glyphosate, that’s certain — it’s what society wants. But it’s not clear exactly when,” said Bernard Farges of Bordeaux, president of the CNAOC wine and spirits association.
French vineyards had already pledged in 2017 to cut glyphosate use in half within three years, but industry leaders say they’re moving faster.
“Purchases of biocontrol products for vines have increased by 70 percent in the past three years,” Farges said, citing a “collapse” in sales of traditional weedkillers.
“Reducing herbicide use by 100 percent in three years is impossible, but we’ll cut it by 70 percent or more,” he predicted.
The Detox Project Director, Henry Rowlands, stated Wednesday that there has been “a sudden surge in interest from French brands including wine companies in Glyphosate Residue Free certification, which is set to give many French food and drink producers an economic advantage over their competitors from other countries.”
France Cracks Down on Glyphosate – Timeline
In April 2016 France’s health and safety agency (ANSES) decided to ban all weedkillers that combine chemicals glyphosate and the adjuvant tallowamine due to uncertainty over possible health risks.
In November 2018 Macron said he would take all measures necessary to ensure that glyphosate-based herbicides are banned in France as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years. However, he has since stated that this deadline may not be met 100%.
In November 2018 the new French Ecology Minister, François Goullet de Rugy, confirmed that the tax on the use of glyphosate will also be increased to help the phase-out: “To achieve this, the government plans to increase the fee for phytosanitary pollution. This fee will be raised by 50%, one more euro per kilo, for glyphosate.”
In January 2019 a French court cancelled the license for one of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkillers over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360
In January 2019 a new French law came in to prohibit the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to individuals (non-commercial entities). The penalty is a fine of up to 30,000 Euros and 6 months imprisonment.