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Government plays down glyphosate ban reports

The office of the Prime Minister indicates that no deadline has been set for a possible ban, despite comments from government spokesman on national radio

The government has moved to damp down reports that it is planning to ban glyphosate by 2022.

As reported, government spokesman Christophe Castener had told RMC radio on Monday that the government was intending to ban the controversial product in five years. He added that €5billion would be set aside to fund the development of alternatives.

He said. "It is the commitment that [Prime Minister] Edouard Philippe will confirm in the hours ahead and the arbitration he made this weekend," he said.

Matignon, the official residence and office of the Prime Minister, later issued a statement saying 'France will vote against' the European Commission's proposal to extend the soon-to-expire licence for glyphosate by 10 years, 'as clearly stated in the month of July'.

But the statement gave no deadline for a possible future ban.

Instead, it said that Mr Philippe had asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition to submit a report outlining conditions for a future ban, including the current state of research into available alternatives.

It added that the government would decide its position only when it received this report, which is due at the end of the year.

"The Government reaffirms its commitment to achieving significant progress towards the prohibition of the use of hazardous substances and towards agriculture that is less dependent on pesticides before the end of the quinquennium [five-year term]," it said.

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