The National Health Security Agency (ANSES) decided on Monday 5 November: medicines based on methamsodium are now banned in France. Their use by gardeners and market gardeners – effective in combating "pests" such as soil fungi – was already suspended by 31 January 2019 by a decree on October 25th.
Irritations of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract … More than eighty inhabitants and practitioners have been poisoned in Maine-et-Loire and Finistère, particularly near the lettuce crops. These pesticides are still permitted by the European Union until 2022.
Seven hundred tons a year
They are used for soil cleansing, usually in September and October. The product is buried there before culture. The usage dose is between 300 and 1200 liters per hectare, which represents nearly 700 tonnes used annually in France, explains the National Health Insurance Agency (ANSES) in his release.
The organization also recalls the obligation for professionals to declare any adverse effects associated with the use of plant protection products, in accordance with Article L. 253-8-1 of the Rural Code and Sea Fisheries. Manufacturers have 10 days to submit their comments.
"We will no longer be able to sell or use these products. We do not give any grace period"said Françoise Weber, ANSES Deputy General Manager for Controlled Products, Agence France-Presse (AFP). Existing stocks will be emptied through specialized channels.
There are solutions other than metamadar and are already widely used by farmers, but gardeners in the market are sticking to their constraints: solar radiation, which is the use of sun heat for soil decontamination, is limited due to climate in the valley of the Loire. Atlantic, while steam disinfection is very greedy in terms of time and fuel.