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“An abstention is worth a vote against”, defends the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu

“The position of the Commission which says ‘we authorize all uses for 10 years, without limit’, is crazy, we are opposed to this decision”, assures Christophe Béchu.


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A farmer spreads glyphosate on June 2, 2020 in Hair (Germany).  (FRANKHOERMANN / SVEN SIMON / AFP)

“An abstention is worth voting against”, assured Friday November 17 on France Inter the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, concerning France’s abstention on the extension of glyphosate in the European Union. During this vote on Thursday, no agreement was found between the Member States, so the Commission decided and extended its use for 10 years. “The Commission’s position which says ‘we authorize all uses for 10 years, without limit’, is crazy, we are opposed to this decision”adds the minister.

“We tried to find an alternative position to the European position”justifies the minister, by bringing together countries which did not support this decision, but, “we have not managed to find enough allies”. Seventeen countries ultimately voted for the extension of glyphosate, so “for particularly diplomatic reasons, we voted like the Germans, to ensure that we continue to find allies on this subject”explains Christophe Béchu.

“This vote will not change anything for us”however, guarantees the minister, “France will continue to ban the use of glyphosate and restrict its use”. He adds that in recent years, France has “the country where the use of glyphosate has decreased the most: 27% compared to the 2015/2017 period”and that this will continue. “We are working with the agricultural profession to little by little, agricultural use by agricultural use, limit, prohibit, wherever we find alternatives, the use of this product”, assures the minister. He is campaigning precisely to find alternatives “credible” to this herbicide of which “the consequences on biodiversity and aquatic environments are certain and documented”.

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