France To Compensate Farmers Who Stop Using Glyphosate

Consumer Goods

According to a report by Reuters news agency, the French government will provide a tax credit of $2,500 euros (US$ 3,030) to farmers who in the near future stop using glyphosate for wine-making grapes and other orchards as well as grain crops. 

The French Ministry of Agriculture devised the plan to give farmers the tax credit after French President, Francois Macron, failed in efforts to ban the controversial herbicide. Macron had been seeking an absolute ban of glyphosate-based weed killers in France by next year.

French farmers who declare either next year or in 2022, to have stopped using glyphosate will receive the tax credit, Reuters reports. However, the report does not mention how the monitoring of the farmers who swear off glyphosate will be enforced. Like the high velocity train system in the country, will it be based on the honor system

Despite his efforts to seek an outright ban on glyphosate stymied, Macron still seeks the end of glyphosate use in France. The French leader called for the ban the same year he was elected, in 2017. 

Although an outright ban was never implemented, France’s health and environment agency, ANSES, announced restrictions on glyphosate in farming just two months ago. 

France is the European Union’s leading agricultural producer. Therefore, banning glyphosate would reduce the country’s agricultural output and diminish gross domestic product and export income. Furthermore, individual farmers who immediately stop using glyphosate face additional costs, from purchasing alternative herbicides, to procuring additional agricultural equipment. 

In fact, France’s Agricultural Ministry claims that the average-sized French farm (approximately 215 acres, or 86 hectares) that stops using glyphosate would be faced with a gross profit loss of up to 16%, or 7,000 less euros. 

To remedy this, France has set aside 215 million euros in financing to help farmers adjust their operations post-glyphosate.

In 2015, a cancer research agency affiliated with the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. The U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, deems glyphosate safe for humans so long as instructions are followed on glyphosate-based herbicidal product instruction labels. 

Despite the EPA stance on the controversial chemical compound, the agency last month issued a draft report which says that glyphosate is likely toxic to hundreds of endangered species of plants and wildlife

In June of this year, Bayer, which owns the Roundup Weed Killer product line, agreed to settle about 90,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits for approximately $10 billion. The company will likely spend an additional $2 billion to settle future lawsuits, and still faces thousands of federal lawsuits that are not included in the $10 billion settlement.


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