Dozens of French mayors have taken the law into their own hands and illicitly banned pesticides near populated areas in their towns and villages. The rebel move has angered France’s agriculture minister who says it threatens French food production.
It all began when Daniel Cueff, the mayor of Langouët in Brittany, on May 18 climbed onto a wooden box dressed in white protective gear and announced to his village that he had imposed a ban on pesticide use within 150 metres of the district’s homes and workplaces. “It is legitimate for a mayor to take action when there is incompetence by the state,” he said, referring to the 2009 European Union directive that requires member states “to take steps to protect residents from pesticides”. [ . . . ]