The Walloon government adapted draft regulations yesterday (Thursday) prohibiting the use of plant protection products containing glyphosate on its territory. Glyphosphate is an active ingredient suspected of carrying risks to human health. Professionals, who are trained and who hold a licence to use such chemicals, known in Belgium as a “phytolicence”, are authorised to use these products through to May 31st, 2018.
Wallonia’s Minister for the Environment, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH), stated, “To allow individuals the opportunity to change their behaviour and for logistics to take shape within distribution outlets for the general public, the regulation prohibiting use will enter into force on June 1st, 2017.”
A pure and simple prohibition on sale did not emerge from the Walloon government but from the federal government. The federal government based its view upon that of the European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA”), which considers that glyphosate should not be treated as a likely carcinogen.
However, Minister Di Antonio attached specific provisos to the sale of glyphosphate-containing products. From June 1st, products containing glyphosphate will not be freely accessible in distribution outlets.
Mr Di Antonio stressed that, “A seller holding a licence to use chemical products should supply information on the Walloon regulations to the potential buyer. The potential buyer should also receive information on the risks for human health of such products, the protection of the environment and alternative techniques available.”