France bans aerial spraying of pesticides in Antilles
France has banned the aerial spraying of pesticides with immediate effect on maize and banana plantations in the French Antilles. Aerial spraying on grapevines and rice will also be prohibited from December 31st 2015 and will be allowed only in rare circumstances where no alternatives are possible. This allows time to arrange a transition to alternative techniques under development, says the Ministry of Agriculture. Some prefectural derogations might still be possible in 2015 on a case-by-case basis with measures in place for the protection of people and the environment. After December 31st 2015, upon the occurrence of a pest not present in the country posing a serious danger to plant health, targeted exemptions could still be considered, it adds. During the past five years, there has already been a 77% reduction in aerial spraying, says the Ministry of Ecology.