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French parliament votes restrictions on pesticides
The French parliament on Thursday backed a new agriculture bill which restricts the use of pesticides near schools but stops short of banning them in such areas completely.
Under the new bill, the use of pesicides is to be limited near schools and other places such as children’s playgrounds, hospitals and retirement homes.
The FNSEA agriculture union organised a day of protest on 26 June, angry at suggestions that the bill would completely ban the use of any pesticides within 200m of any housing.
The final bill does not include any fixed distance limit, leaving that thorny question for a later ruling.
Today’s bill also allows for the possible use of pesticides during school holidays, or where hedges provide effective barriers.
There are to be tougher safety regulations for food production and the results of inspections are to be published, in a bid to prevent problems such as the recent horsemeat scandal.
The opposition UMP party voted against the bill, which UMP member of parliament Antoine Herth judged “not to address the real concerns of the agriculture sector”.