France to ban atrizine

28 September 2001

France to ban atrizine

By Philip Clarke, Europe editor

FRANCE has ordered the removal of all triazine-based chemicals, including the popular weed killer atrizine, from the market by the end of September 2002.

It is also demanding the end of the use of these ingredients in other products by 30 June, 2003.

The move, announced by farm minister Jean Glavany on Friday (28 September), is intended to deal with the countrys worsening water quality.

A report by the French environment institute (IFEN) shows that triazines have a “generalised presence” in around 50% of surface and ground water.

It also shows that only 6% of French water is free of pesticides, and reports that the EU limit of 1mg of active substance per litre of water is routinely exceeded in many regions of France, especially Brittany.

French food safety agency AFSSA recommends that children should not be exposed to more than 0.6mg/l.

In a statement, Mr Glavany says: “This decision should allow us to take a significant step in the direction of a more environmentally respectful farming.

“It will contribute towards a progressive improvement in water quality.”

Triazine is particularly common in maize production. About 80% of the crop is treated with the chemical.

But the move has been attacked by the plant protection industrys union, which has called it “precipitous” and “politically motivated”.

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