The import and sale of fresh cherries produced with the use of dimethoate, a contested insecticide, are now banned in France. Cherries from organic farming in accordance with European standards are allowed.
An order published on Saturday in the Official Journal prohibits the importation and marketing of fruit from countries where this insecticide is authorized to treat cherry.
Inaction of the EU
The measure, applicable for one year, has been adopted every year since February 2016, when Dimethoate was banned in France. Its banishment had angered farmers, who consider the insecticide the only defense against the Asian fly, a pest of cherry.
Since then, the government has been asking the European Union for a global ban on this insecticide. To ban it on its territory, France is, meanwhile, playing its national safeguard clause. This helps to protect
consumers while avoiding distortions of competition between countries using dimethoate and those who decided to do without it.