Hundreds of tractors expected Wednesday morning in Paris, traffic “highly disrupted”
More than 2,000 farmers will converge from 8 a.m. on the Esplanade des Invalides. They are protesting against the ban on neonicotinoids in beet farming.
At least 500 tractors and some 2,000 farmers will converge on Wednesday morning February 8 on Parisduring a demonstration against the ban on neonicotinoids in beet farming, announced the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (Fnsea) and the Paris police headquarters in press releases.
Many farmers’ unions and associations, such as the National Union of Potato Producers (UNPT), the General Association of Wheat and Other Cereals Producers (AGPB) and the Association of Corn Producers (AGPM) , relayed the call to protest.
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The convoys, coming from the A13, A10, A6 and A4 motorways, will park on the boulevards located around the Porte de Versailles from 7 to 8 a.m., after having taken the outer ring road. They will then join the esplanade des Invalides, passing by rue de Vaugirard, boulevard Pasteur, avenue de Suffren and avenue de la Motte-Picquet.
The Paris police headquarters expects traffic “very strongly disturbed in a wide area», from the ring road to the 7e and 15e Parisian districts. The farmers will disperse at the beginning of the afternoon by joining the ring road at the Quai d’Issy. “It is strongly recommended that motorists drive well around the area“, warn the authorities.
“Hecatomb of the agricultural sectors”
The government decided on January 23 to abandon the authorization of neonicotinoid insecticides for the cultivation of sugar beet, following a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union making any derogation illegal. These substances, toxic to bees and banned since 2018, had benefited from a derogation in France for two years, which allowed them to be applied preventively to sugar beet seeds – to protect them from jaundice, a viral disease threatening yields.
The subject of neonicotinoids is “the tip of the iceberg“, affirms to AFP the president of the Parisian FNSEA Grand Bassin and farmer in Essonne Damien Greffin, who cites the ban on the insecticide phosmet, which “jeopardizes» the cultivation of cherries, or that of a weed killer for endives.
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According to him, we are witnessing aslaughter of the agricultural sectors one after the other (…) at this rate, French agriculture will disappear“. While affirming that it is notthere is no question of praising phytosanitary products“, he is in favor of a reintroduction of neonicotinoids”as long as there is no other solution“. For the FNSEA, it is “food sovereignty», «displayed as a government priority“, which is at stake. The union calls on the executive to “move from rhetoric to action“.
This protest movement comes the day after a third day of mobilization against the pension reform, the bill of which is currently being considered in Parliament. On Wednesday, disruptions are also expected in Ile-de-France transport, SNCF having warned of “disturbed” RER and TER line traffic.
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