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French department 'bans' use of glyphosate herbicide

Decree issued a day after MPs began a consultation on whether to impose mandatory zones of up to 10m between treated fields and private residences

One French department, near Paris, has issued a decree banning the herbicide glyphosate.

The largely symbolic department-wide ban in Val-de-Marne comes less than a month after a court overturned a ban imposed by the mayor of a 602-inhabitant commune in Brittany, and just one day after a government consultation began over whether to introduce a mandatory buffer zone of up to 10 metres between fields treated with pesticides or herbicides, and homes.

It is intended to raise awareness of publicly perceived health issues surrounding the use of the herbicide.

"For us, it is a question of applying a precautionary principle, since everyone now recognises that glyphosate can have serious consequences on health," said Christian Favier, président of the department's conseil général.

Despite widespread health concerns, glyphosate has been licenced for use in the EU until 2022. French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to outlaw its use in France, but so far his efforts have twice been rejected by MPs - most recently in September 2018.

Earlier this year, French MPs also voted to delay a ban on certain pesticides - originally slated to come into force in 2022 - until 2025.

Read more: Independent winegrowers welcome French president's glyphosate challenge

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