France: National consultation on pesticide buffer zones

The French government has launched a nationwide consultation on the implementation of pesticide-free buffer zones around homes. This is days after a French court ruled that mayors did not have the power to implement their own.

The three-week online consultation, which opened on Monday, will inform new nation-wide regulations to create a minimum distance between residential areas and pesticide spraying. The government has suggested a minimum distance of 5 metres for low-lying crops such as cereals and one of 10 metres for higher ones, including vines and fruit.

These proposals are radically different cry from the 150-metre-wide buffer zone introduced by several mayors this summer, opposed by the government.

An administrative court ruled last week that the mayor of Langouet, in Brittany, had overstepped his authority by banning spraying pesticides within 150 metres of residential housing in his village in a bid to protect residents from molecules considered a health risk.


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