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Italy and France moving towards a phase out of glyphosate

Glyphosate, the most used herbicide in the European Union was approved for renewal for five years with a qualified majority on November 2017. There are countries such as France or Italy that strongly oppose its use and following this decision at the EU level, Emmanuel Macron stated that glyphosate would be banned in France, showing his disagreement with the extension. The controversy resides on the different results on studies about glyphosate questioning if this pesticide can cause cancer.

However, Macron also said on 25th January that farmers will be exempted from the ban for a period of three years since there is no credible alternative still to this pesticide. While acknowledging the need for research, Macron argued ‘I will never impose an exit if there is no credible alternative’. Yet, farmers state that the period of time given is not long enough to find an environmental and economically efficient solution.

On the meantime, Italy has decided to adopt a law which prohibits the use of glyphosate in the pre-harvest phase in agriculture, as well as the use of some chemicals (particularly Poe-tallowamine) in combination with the herbicide. The law forbids its use in public areas such as parks, gardens and sports fields.  The next step will consist in restricting the import of products from countries that allow the usage of glyphosate in the pre-harvest phase.

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