France determined to lead the way, bans sale of 1,500 pesticides

February 2, 2008

France’s decision to ban the sale of more than 1,500 pesticides in the country beginning Feb. 1 applies to some of the world’s biggest chemical producers, the farm ministry said on Friday. Iincluded in the ban are U.S. companies Dow Chemical and DuPont Co, Germany’s Bayer and BASF and Switzerland’s Syngenta.

France aims to gradually phase out the use of 53 phytosanitary substances in its fields. Licences for 30 of them will be scrapped this year. The ban is part of a larger plan to cut by 50 percent the use of phytosanitary products in the next 10 years, the farm ministry said.

The strategy was flagged as a major goal in an environmental consultation exercise set up by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in October and has been welcomed by environmentalists.


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