January 30, 2008 / 1:45 PM / 11 years ago

France scraps licenses for 1,500 pesticides

PARIS (Reuters) - France will ban the sale of more than 1,500 pesticides from February 1 as part of a larger plan to cut by 50 percent the use of phytosanitary products in the next 10 years, the farm ministry said.

“Michel Barnier, minister for agriculture and fisheries, has announced the cancellation, before February 1, of marketing licenses for products containing 30 substances considered as the most worrying,” it said in a statement released late on Tuesday.

“These substances are contained in more than 1,500 commercial phytosanitary products,” it added.

The ministry was not immediately able to provide the names of the companies producing these pesticides.

France aims gradually to end the use of 53 phytosanitary substances, of which 30 this year, in its fields.

The sale of stocks of the pesticides will be authorized until the end of April and farmers may use them until the end of the year, except for products made of carbendazime, molinate and dinocap, for which alternative solutions should be available for the 2009 crop.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; editing by Chris Johnson

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