Pascal Xicluna /

The French ministries of the environment and of agriculture and food committed at the beginning of the year to releasing the total quantities of phytosanitary products sold thus far in 2019 by the end of June. In accordance with this commitment to transparency, provisional data were published at the end of the month.

These provisional data reveal the first effects of measures taken by the government since 2019 in order to reduce the use of pesticides and other phytosanitary products, starting with the products that are the most dangerous to health and to the environment:

  • The total quantities of active substances sold for agricultural uses, excluding biocontrol products, decreased by 44% between 2018 and 2019 (a 28,078-metric-ton decrease), after having increased by 18% between 2017 and 2018 (+11,870 metric tons).
  • The total quantities of the “substances of the highest concern” sold (those that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, and/or toxic to reproduction) fell by more than 50% in 2019 compared to 2018.
  • The quantities of glyphosate sold decreased by 25% between 2018 and 2019 (-3,358 metric tons), after having risen by 11% between 2017 and 2018 (+999 metric tons).
  • The relative share of biocontrol products continues to increase, which demonstrates a progressive and continuous replacement of the most dangerous products by these products.

These decreases are based on information from pesticide distributors. They will be consolidated before the end of the year, particularly to refine the data for reductions by type of use (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc.) and type of product.