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The mayor of Langouët, Daniel Cueff, speaks to protesters when he arrived at the Administrative Court of Rennes, on August 22, 2019. Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

The French government kicked off a consultation on Monday 9th September on the distances to be respected between homes and pesticide application areas. He proposes to fix these distances at 5 or 10 meters, depending on the crop. Scheduled for early October, it was advanced after the controversy over the high-profile municipal bylaw of the mayor of the small Breton town of Langouët, followed by other elected officials. Meeting with mayors, their supporters and the initiator of this movement at a rally in Paris.

They are there in front of the National Assembly with their signs " Stop pesticides ", grouped around Daniel Cueff, the mayor of Langouët, a small Breton ecological community including 100% organic canteens. Nevertheless, pesticides are used in the fields around the village and residents are worried, said the mayor.

" The inhabitants of the town had urine tests done by themselves and their children," explains Daniel Cueff. And while they eat organic, they found in their children glyphosate levels thirty times higher than the norm. "

He has therefore issued a decree prohibiting the use of pesticides within 150 meters of houses to the displeasure of conventional farmers. But Daniel Cueff assures: solutions exist.

Also listen: Citizen consultation on pesticides: "5 to 10 meters are not enough to protect residents"

" I would never have made a bylaw," insists Daniel Cueff, " if I had not previously made a commitment to certain farmers to be sure that there are solutions in these 150 meters that are not organic farming. but which are simply other devices that would avoid the use of pesticides. "

For the moment, however, the measure is not applied in the commune, since the decree of Daniel Cueff was suspended by the administrative justice. Nevertheless, dozens of mayors have followed his example and they want thousands of others to do the same to force the government to finally act effectively against pesticides.

See also: Pesticide application: an innovative safety distance, but not enough?

" We have already done a lot "

We must trust science rather than mayors on pesticides, responded the Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume, visiting the International Livestock Fair in Rennes. An allusion to the anti-pesticide decree decided by the mayor of Langouêt, the region where the show is organized. The minister defended the non-treatment zones recommended by ANSES , the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor. And by the way he defended the government's record on the reduction of pesticides.

On pesticides, France has already done a lot. The President of the Republic has announced the end of glyphosates on January 1, 2021, where there will be alternatives. Where there is none it will continue to seek ...

Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture 10/09/2019 - by Claire Fages Play

See also: Debate on glyphosate in France: no ban by 2021