France will go it alone and ban the herbicide glyphosate in three years, President Emmanuel Macron has promised, after the EU voted to renew the controversial weedkiller's licence for another five years.
In a tweet, Mr Macron revealed "I have asked the government to make the necessary arrangements so that the use of glyphosate is prohibited in France as soon as alternatives have been found, and at the latest within three years."
J'ai demandé au gouvernement de prendre les dispositions nécessaires pour que l'utilisation du glyphosate soit interdite en France dès que des alternatives auront été trouvées, et au plus tard dans 3 ans. #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 27, 2017
France was one of nine countries to vote against the European Commission's proposal to renew glyphosate's licence. A total 18 voted in favour of the licence, and one country abstained.
Despite the result, which the office of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, "France regrets," Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert said he was "happy that the European Commission was finally able to reach an agreement".
He pointed out that the Commission had originally proposed a 10-year renewal and said that the reduced licence offered "five years in which we will work to look for alternatives".
Germany voted in favour despite health concerns - but there have been claims that officials in Brussels ignored an instruction from Berlin to abstain.
Glyphosate is marketed as Roundup by the US agrochemical giant Monsanto.
One UN study called the chemical 'probably carcinogenic', but later research has suggested it is safe to use.
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