The Council of State highlights the “seriousness of the consequences of the partial failure to implement in terms of public health” and “the particular urgency that this entails”.
Is the government protecting local residents from pesticide spraying enough? The answer is no, according to the Council of State. The latter is asking the executive to respect its injunctions by setting wider safety distances near homes, in a decision consulted on Friday 23 December by AFP. The highest administrative jurisdiction gives two months to the government to review its copy, under penalty of a fine of 500 euros per day of delay.
To justify this decision, the Council of State highlights the “seriousness of the consequences of the partial failure to implement in terms of public health” and “the particular urgency that results”. The case had been referred to it by several organisations, including Générations futures, France nature environnement and the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir. For several years, they have been criticising the state for not sufficiently protecting local residents from pesticide spraying, which is suspected of being harmful to human health.
“The government still does not act”
“Since 2017, the applicant associations and organisations have not stopped filing appeals to obtain better protection for local residents and workers in contact with pesticides. They have obtained three decisions from the Council of State, in 2019, 2021 and 2022, and despite this, the government is still not acting effectively enough,” François Lafforgue, the lawyer for the petitioning organisations, pointed out to AFP.
“We expect the government to really reopen this file to take the necessary measures, and this, urgently and before the spraying starts again in the spring,” urged the association Générations futures in a statement.