France pledged to ban glyphosate, but regulators say phasing out weedkiller probably isn’t possible

Credit: Philippe Huguen/AFP
Credit: Philippe Huguen/AFP

The long-awaited publication of the latest report from the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) concerning the results of its comparative evaluation of glyphosate and its non-chemical alternatives can only be perceived as an admission of the impossibility of “getting out of glyphosate.”

In addition to the many agricultural technical dead ends, now recognized, which would result from a ban on this herbicide, a certain number of non-agricultural sectors would also have been greatly handicapped by such a decision.

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In this dossier, as in that of neonicotinoids, it is clear that the pressure from environmentalists is very bad advice, and that it is better to think twice before succumbing to the populist sirens whose credo is to ban everything. A lesson that should logically lead the French government to change its tune, when it will again have to decide on the re-registration of glyphosate, scheduled for 2023.

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It is indeed difficult to see how the government could sweep aside ANSES’s conclusions and precipitate entire sectors into an impasse, because of a presidential promise made under the pressure of a manipulated public opinion ….

[Editor’s note: This article was published in French and has been translated and lightly edited for clarity.]

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