Margaux Fodéré / Photo credit: OMER EVREN ATALAY / ANADOLU AGENCY / ANADOLU VIA AFP 7:15 a.m., February 22, 2024

In March 2023, France had already suspended for one year “the introduction, import and placing on the market” of cherries treated with phosmet, particularly from Turkey.

A ban which has created circumvention effects, also a risk for thiacloprid.

Two days before the opening of the Salon de l'Agriculture, Gabriel Attal unveiled on Wednesday a new series of measures to support farmers.

Among the announcements is a ban on imports of products treated with Thiacloprid.

This name may not mean anything to you, but it arouses the anger of the agricultural world.

Thiacloprid is an insecticide banned in France and Europe, but still used by many fruit and vegetable producers abroad.

Imports experienced as “unfair competition” by French producers.

The Prime Minister therefore decided to ban imports of products treated with this pesticide from Friday.

But in reality, it may be very difficult to implement.

Risks of circumvention

First of all, from a purely logistical point of view.

We will have to check the presence of the insecticide in the fruits and vegetables arriving in France.

However, as we see today, the Egalim law is not yet fully applied.

Then, it will be necessary to successfully counter evasions.

Some countries might be tempted to go through other intermediary countries to sell their thiacloprid-treated products.

This is the case with Turkish cherry, officially banned in France because of another pesticide.


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"Turkey is the Union's leading supplier of cherries, particularly to Germany and Austria. These two countries consume part of the cherries they import, but the other part is re-exported to Spain, to France. So there too, that's the difficulty: France will target countries like Turkey, but will it target all countries, notably Germany and Austria, on the grounds that they would be likely to re-export Turkish products?" asks Thierry Pouch, chief economist of the Chambers of Agriculture.

Finally, are the French ready to do without certain fruits and vegetables?

It's not sure.

But today, we import much more than we export.

In other words, we will not be able to compensate with national production.