French plan for pesticide use reduction falters

Progress on a decades-old strategy to drive down pesticide use in France appears to be stalling, after new figures show sales increased by 23% between 2017 and 2018.

Data published by the ministry of agriculture on Tuesday show that pesticides sold for agricultural use rebounded last year after a 3% drop between 2016 and 2017. 

French officials attributed the increase to climatic conditions and stockpiling ahead of a pollution tax introduced at the beginning of 2019. It also noted that, over the same period, the sale of pesticides of higher concern decreased by 15% and the number of organic farms has grown by 13%. 

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