Ecophyto Plan: why are NGOs angry?

The Ecophyto plan, aimed at limiting the use of pesticides, is currently suspended.

Ecophyto Plan: why are NGOs angry?

The Ecophyto plan, aimed at limiting the use of pesticides, is currently suspended. The NGOs, in total disagreement with this decision, slammed the door during a meeting on this subject.

Following the farmers' blockages that occurred in January, Gabriel Attal decided to put the Ecophyto plan on hold. The latter aimed to halve the use of pesticides by 2030. The Prime Minister had affirmed that this suspension would allow certain aspects of this plan to be reworked. If the farmers were satisfied with this decision, on the side of ecologists and NGOs, the discourse was diametrically opposed, denouncing in particular the destruction of biodiversity with the use of pesticides.

The NGOs have not said their last word. This Monday, February 12, eight of them, specialized in environmental protection, slammed the door during the Strategic Orientation and Monitoring Committee of the Ecophyto plan which took place at the Ministry of Agriculture. Among them, we find in particular Générations Futures and WWF France who had already expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision to pause the plan. For WWF, it was indeed a “disastrous signal” and for Générations futures, this decision was seen as a “major setback which takes us back 15 years”.

They then demanded the maintenance of Nodu, the indicator which makes it possible to monitor the reduction in the use of pesticides. The NGOs considered in a joint press release that "calling into question the NODU indicator (number of unit doses) is to call into question the very objective of reducing the use of pesticides and therefore the very existence of the Ecophyto plan" .

After this shortened meeting, WWF shared a press release once again showing its dissatisfaction: "By giving the signal that agriculture can relax its efforts on pesticides, the government has chosen to open Pandora's box. It is a a gift to industrial agriculture more than to farmers in their diversity, while the agricultural world said it wanted support, not pesticides. For its part Générations Futures, through its spokesperson François Veillerette to AFPTV, described this meeting as a “masquerade”.

According to Franceinfo, the Ministry of Agriculture responded in a press release by explaining that "these associations expressed at the start of COS their desire not to dialogue or participate, but to make a declaration". This was refused to them to prevent the COS from becoming “a forum where everyone reads a declaration without listening to the others”.

If the NGOs denounced the lack of preparation for the meeting in advance, the Ministry of Agriculture, conversely, affirmed that the NGOs had been received by several ministers before the opening of the COS. The Ecophyto plan is on pause until February 24, the opening day of the Agricultural Show and therefore the deadline for making a decision.