After a decline year, a major rebound in pesticide sales in 2020

The quantities of elapsed active substances increased by 23% compared to 2019. The tonnages of glyphosate and prosulfocarbe sold are rising sharply.

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After a decline year, a year of rise is professed. The latest pesticide use figures were communicated on Monday, November 22, to the members of the Ecophyto Orientation and Follow-up Committee, aimed at monitoring and measuring the evolution of the use of phytosanitary products in French campaigns. The elements presented confirm previously communicated preliminary data, indicating a sharp reduction in the use intensity of these products in 2019, compared to the previous year. But the figures available for the year 2020 suggest an important rebound.

First teaching: The consolidated data for the year 2019 confirm a sharp decline in the use of “phytos” compared to the previous year. The number of doses Unit (Nodu), the reference indicator of the use intensity of pesticides, fell 37% in 2019 compared to the previous year. It had been marked by massive purchases, motivated by the anticipation of an increase in taxes on sales of these products. However, on a triennial average, the Nodule increased by about 15% between the 2009-2011 and 2017-2019 periods.

The Nodule of the year 2020 was not presented during the meeting, only the raw quantities sold being available. These are a less precise indicator of the reality of the use of pesticides because it does not integrate the surfaces and the nature of the crops treated, but it offers an index of evolution. This is oriented on the rise: in 2020, the quantities of active substances, without recognizing the authorized products in organic farming, increased by 23% compared to 2019.

The most dangerous substances Stagnate

A sharp rise in tonnages of herbicides sold draws the trend: the amounts of glyphosate elapsed in 2020 were fond of 42% compared to the previous year. They are more than 8,600 tonnes, a level comparable to what has been recorded for ten years. Another controversial herbicide, prosulfocarb, is largely increased. It is denounced by biological farmers because of its tendency to be drifted over great distances and to damage neighboring cultures of treatments. However, the most dangerous substances, called CMR1 (carcinogens, mutagenic or reprotoxic proven or presumed) are down. CMR2 (carcinogens, mutagenic or reprotoxic suspected) stagnate between 2019 and 2020.

For environmental defense associations, this meeting of the Ecophyto Orientation and Monitoring Committee, the first held since January 2020, is disappointing. The Federation France Nature Environnement (FNE) is called “angry” in front of the results presented. The Future Generations Association notes the absence of the measures planned for the decision of the Council of State of 26 July , which orders the State to better protect the populations riparian from the spreads.

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/Media reports.