As per a study published by consumer group CLCV specializing shops and supermarkets with a gardening section, a consumer organisation has denounced the lax application of a law governing the sale of pesticides to the public in France, where 44% of shops continue to sell pesticides on self-service shelves, despite a ban that entered into force on 1 January 2017.
Pesticides must be kept in a dedicated area, not accessible to the public, and sales must be managed by a staff member who can advise customers. Products being freely accessible or in unlocked cabinets was not at all something expected.
Adrien Tchang-Minh, the head of environment at CLCV said that when they began that investigation, they never expected that result. He further added that they need qualified people who understand the products they were selling and how to direct customers towards softer alternatives.
Now, CLCV has appealed to the government to ensure the state polices the ban strictly.
A spokesperson for the association said that the lack of advice available in 22% of cases creates a worrying situation. When salespeople did provide advice, it was often very accurate and interesting, but sometimes we were given no information on how to use the product, how the user should protect themselves or whether it was possible to use less toxic products.
The products concerned:
The law on the future of agriculture, food and forests (LAAAF) concerns chemical pesticides
It is the sale of these dangerous products that the consumer association’s investigation targeted.
A complete ban on the sale of chemical pesticides to non-professionals to be introduced in 2019, to allow manufacturers to use up the last of their stocks.
A worrying conclusion
The study was carried out between March and May 2017. “Undercover” CLCV members visited supermarkets and garden centres and recorded the availability of controlled pesticides.
On average, 1/3 of the controlled substances available on the shelves should not have been there.
Another troubling finding of the study is that these controlled pesticides are often freely available on the internet, without any accompanying advice.