French agriculture minister plans atrazine ban

Excessive contamination of surface, groundwater, spells end for triazine herbicides

France is to set to become the eighth EU member state to ban the use of the wide-spectrum herbicide atrazine, agriculture minister Jean Glavany announced on Friday. Mr Glavany said that the decision was prompted by excessive and increasing pollution of ground and surface waters.

The announcement is a further sign that atrazine may be headed for EU-wide phase-out. Its inclusion on a forthcoming list of priority hazardous substances under the 2000 water framework directive has been mooted (EED 21/05/01) and European water companies recently called for a ban (EED 31/08/01).

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