HERBICIDE The authorization of glyphosate, which runs until December 2022, will probably be extended for a year to allow health authorities time to decide on its dangerousness
Photo illustration treating potato plants in the garden against diseases. — Mourad ALLILI/SIPA
Sales of glyphosate, a controversial weedkiller, have fallen; in France in 2021, falling below the average of the last ten years, the Ministries of Ecological Transition and Agriculture reported on Thursday.
The use of glyphosate makes debate within the European Union. Its authorization, which runs until December 2022, will probably be extended for a year to give the health authorities time to decide on its dangerousness.
In 2021, 7,765 tons of this herbicide were used. sold, down 10% year-on-year. This volume is “9 % less than the average observed over the last ten years (8,546 tons)”, specifies the Ministry of Ecological Transition on its website.
The meadow President Emmanuel Macron had promised at the end of 2017 that glyphosate would be banned in France “at the latest in three years”, before retracting.
The volumes of glyphosate sold are scrutinized by environmental associations who blame the French executive to curb the use of pesticides too timidly, despite the succession of “Ecophyto” plans.
Sales up and down since 2018
Its sales have been on the upswing since 2018: farmers are stockpiling products on the verge of becoming more expensive, consuming these stocks, then raking in glyphosate before it appears on the labels of new products. rules, such as the ban on spraying herbicide between the rows of vines.
For its part, the SNCF, which was the largest user of glyphosate in France to weed the railway tracks and their surroundings, turned to an alternative solution in early 2022.
Overall, and according to still provisional data, sales of pesticides (excluding products authorized for organic use and biocontrol solutions) were almost stable in 2021 over one year (+0.7%). They are “19% below the 2012-2017 average”, highlight the administrations.
“Sales of biocontrol products and products that can be used in organic farming are increasing by 13% between 2020 and 2021, which shows the development of alternative solutions”, they say.
“Reducing or stopping the use of phytosanitary products requires having serious and operational alternatives to allow farmers to promote new agricultural practices that are economically viable. and guarantee our sovereignty. food,”said the Ministry of Agriculture in a press release.