Macron says weedkiller glyphosate to be banned in France within three years

Activists pulling down a giant bottle of weedkiller as they demonstrate in favour of a Glyphosate ban by the European Union in front of the European Union Commission headquarter in Brussels on July 19, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday (Nov 27) said he would take all measures necessary to ensure that weedkiller glyphosate is banned in France as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years.

Macron announced the move on Twitter after Germany defeated France in a tight vote in Brussels.

The EU vote cleared the use of glyphosate for the next five years after a heated debate over whether the weed-killer originally developed by Monsanto causes cancer. France had pushed for the whole bloc to renew the licence for only three years.

Despite the 5-year extension, EU rules allow France to unilaterally ban the substance. It has already decided to do so for private individuals in 2019.

"I have asked the government to take the necessary measures for the use of glyphosate to be banned in France as soon as alternatives are found, and at the latest in three years. #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain," Macron said in his Tweet.

"Five years is too long," Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said on RTL radio, adding: "Three years seems to be a reasonable timeframe to get everyone on board."

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