farmers and environmental associations disagree on indicators to measure pesticide use

Environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the consultations on the revision of the Ecophyto plan declared, Monday February 12, that maintaining the main indicator for measuring the use of pesticides in France was a “Red line”before an important meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Challenging the NODU indicator (number of unit doses) »reference tool of the Ecophyto plan, “it calls into question the very objective of reducing the use of pesticides”, say eight NGOs in a joint press release. The signatory associations, including Future Generations, WWF France, the Foundation for Nature and Man and the League for the Protection of Birds, demand that NODU remain “the plan’s reference and monitoring indicator”.

These NGOs were to participate, Monday afternoon, at the Ministry of Agriculture in a strategic orientation and monitoring committee (COS) with the government, elected officials and representatives of farmers, industry, on the future from Ecophyto. This plan, which aims to halve the use of pesticides by 2030 (compared to 2015-2017), was suspended by Gabriel Attal “time to put in place a new indicator” which would replace NODU, the main French measurement tool.

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Farmers’ Efforts

The NODU, expressed in hectares, takes into account the quantities of active substances sold and their reference dose – or “unit dose” – specific to each substance. It is important “our dependence on pesticides, leading to biases linked to large differences in homologous doses between molecules”explains the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae) on its site.

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The National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA) and the chemical industry strongly contest the NODU, which does not reflect the efforts of farmers, who claim to have already reduced their use of pesticides by 46% in twenty years.

“Our organizations cannot prevent this denial of democracy nor this fifteen-year flashback, sweeping away in a few days months and even years of collective work in which many parties worked for the success of the plan”continued the NGOs in their press release.

The invitation to Monday’s COS “contains neither agenda nor working documents transmitted in preparation for this meeting”accuse the NGOs: “How can we consider, in these conditions, in two hours with nearly eighty participants and four ministers, that this is a desire to work in peaceful conditions? » The NGOs announce that they will hold a press briefing around 4 p.m. in front of the Ministry of Agriculture.

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The World with AFP