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France to ease pesticide ban for sugar beet to curb crop lossesqrcode

Aug. 7, 2020

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Aug. 7, 2020

The French government will propose lifting a ban on certain pesticides blamed for harming bees to protect sugar beet crops that have been ravaged by insects this year, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

The government plans to support a legislative amendment in parliament later this year to exempt sugar beet for up to three years from a general ban on neonicotinoids, the ministry said in a statement following a meeting with sugar industry representatives.

Sugar beet growers blame the ban on the neonicotinoid group of crop chemicals for insect attacks that could decimate yields this year and say this further threatens the French sugar sector after a price slump in recent years already led to factory closures.

“French sugar beet producers are facing an unprecedented crisis: the jaundice virus transmitted by aphids has developed massively across France’s growing regions and is going to impact heavily sugar beet production,” the ministry said.

In addition to the proposed re-authorisation of neonicotinoid pesticides for sugar beet in time for next year’s spring planting, the ministry said 5 million euros ($5.9 million) would be offered to support research into alternatives to neonicotinoids.

Source: Reuters


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