France bans metam sodium pesticides

French farmers will no longer be authorised to use pesticides linked to a recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses, France’s Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety has said

French farmers will no longer be authorised to use pesticides linked to a recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses, France’s Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) announced on Monday.

Products based on metam sodium are widely used as soil sterilants to kill fungal colonies and nematodes – parasitic worms – which pose a particular threat to the cultivation of salad leaves and tomatoes.

In 2012, EU member states voted to re-authorise the chemical for 10 years, overturning a ban imposed in 2009. Since then, ANSES has been re-evaluating metam-based pesticides available on the French market for their risks to human health and the environment.

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