The new agriculture minister, Didier Guillaume, drew the ire of NGOS and the left, Friday 19 October, stating that the scientists needed to demonstrate that the use of pesticides had an effect on health. “It is up to scientists to demonstrate that there are consequences to the use of pesticides or not,” said the minister during an interview with the antenna of RTL.
Including “on the question of babies without arms, it is necessary for science to do its work,” he added, referring to the cases of babies born without hands, arms or forearms in the Ain. However, in this case, the sanitary Agency of the ministry of health has chosen to stop investigating. “The statistical analysis does not reveal an excess of cases compared to the national average, and public Health France did not identify a common exposure to the occurrence of these malformations “, had written the health care agency said in a report published at the beginning of October.
Read also : Didier Guillaume, a former socialist agriculture
“Minister of pesticides,”
But the pesticide issue is hot in France, and the minister’s remarks were very poorly received by the NGOS concerned as well as by the left, rather, proponents of the precautionary principle. “I present to you Didier Guillaume, the new minister of the pesticides. We are still waiting for the appointment of a minister of agriculture…, ” commented the senator ecologist Esther Benbassa on Twitter.
” It’s a good start bad ! First response and already a communication from a lobbyist. The studies are all there, the demonstration of the dirty tricks and lies Monsanto too, but we’re not going to upset the FNSEA, isn’t it? “also ironisé Pascal Durand, mep ecologist, on the social networks. “The age of bronze…,” noted Benoît Hamon, the founder of the movement Generation.s, who added on his Twitter account : “Three days of the year and already the spokesperson of the lobbies : hat down. “
” Fortunately, it doesn’t work as the minister suggests, because we could put anything on the market and wait until there are dead to be able to remove the product. I think it is poorly expressed, this is not possible “, said François Veillerette, spokesperson of the NGO future Generations.
in A statement, “on account of the inexperience”
” The law stipulates that it is up to the producer to prove, at the time of application for the placing on the market, that its product has no unacceptable effect in terms of the different regulatory criteria. It is not up to scientists to show that the product has effects. We are going to put it (this statement) on account of the inexperience, ” added Mr Veillerette said. “After that, there may be elements of new scientists who are involved and may lead to a suspension or a withdrawal of the authorization. This was the case for neonicotinoids “, he admits.
The mission of information of the national Assembly on pesticides has recommended, in its report made public in April, better prevention, and information about the dangers caused by plant protection products.
“The establishment of a causal link between the occurrence of a pathology and the exposure to plant protection products is tricky,” noted the parliamentary mission, who wants to have documented data and in particular of epidemiological studies “. It wished, therefore, to ” strengthen the monitoring systems of ecotoxicological order to have more complete data, and followed up in different environments, as well as species to be monitored in priority “, because “several recent studies show, without doubt, the damage” caused by a “wide use” of pesticides, referring to the disappearance of a large proportion of the insects, birds and other pollinators.