On the other hand, sales of biological pesticides and active ingredients to organic farmers increased by 2,932 tons, or 13%, to reach 24,896 tons. Glyphosate sales fell: according to the ministry, 7,765 tons of the controversial herbicide were sold in 2021; That was 10% less than the previous year. However, glyphosate sales in 2020 increased by 42% to 8,645 tons compared to the previous year.
In the ministry they were satisfied. The decrease in sales compared to 2016 is evidence of the success of the government’s efforts to reduce the use of pesticides bundled into Ecophyto schemes.
It highlights that the latest three-year average is the lowest since Ecophyto plans began. Another plus point is that sales of traditional active ingredients were recently 19% lower than the average for the years 2012 to 2017; However, this period includes two of the three years with the highest total sales.
Admittedly, the expansion of organic farming has also played an important role. According to the ministry, the membership area has been expanded by 53% compared to 2015.
Ecophyto’s current plan expires in 2024 and, like its predecessors, is likely to miss its targets. The indicator (NODU) specially developed for the plan, which indicates the area treated on a standardized dose basis, was 88.5 million hectares in 2020; 85.7 million hectares has been provisionally set aside for 2021. However, this is only the 2011 level – the original target was to reduce the 2009 level – 82.0 million hectares – by 50% by 2018. In 2015, after that became increasingly distant, The government postponed the target to 2025; However, the interim target of reducing by a quarter by 2020 cannot be achieved.
Recently, Paris mobilized significant funds from the “France Relance” economic stimulus program and the “France 2030” investment programme; Savings must be made here by investing in modern agricultural technology. However, it has been repeatedly criticized before that Ecophyto’s plans failed despite significant financial outlay; A total of €643m is said to have been spent on this between 2008 and 2019.
Consider the extras
On the other hand, the State Commission on Ethics, Health and Environmental Protection (cnDAspe) issued a statement criticizing the approval procedures for crop protection products. The Committee believes that the assessment carried out by the competent authority, the Office of Health Protection in Nutrition, the Environment and the Occupations (ANSES), should take better account of the potential interaction effects between all components.
The committee has examined some of the licensing procedures and found that only the active substances and not the additives were taken into account. The Committee considers that this approach is not in line with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).