Letter to the French Minister of Agriculture in support of the non-renewal of Mancozeb fungicide

  July 10, 2020

10 July 2020 : Justice Pesticides and 6 NGOs write to Mr. Julien Denormandie, the new French Minister of Agriculture, to ask that he supports the EC proposal not to renew toxic fungicide Mancozeb at a meeting of EU governments’ representatives on July 16. Here is an unofficial translation of the letter.

Update July 30: We have learned that the vote on the non-renewal of the authorization of Mancozeb fungicide is rescheduled for September 2020.

Re: Vote on 16 and 17 July in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (ScoPAFF) on the non-renewal of the authorisation of the fungicide Mancozeb. French support for the European Commission’s proposal.

Copy: Ms. Barbara Pompili, Minister of the Ecological Transition


Dear Minister of Agriculture,

We write to you on behalf of the following NGOs: Justice Pesticides, Générations Futures, Réseau Environnement Santé,  Wecf France, Phyto-Victimes, FNAB, France Nature Environnement, to ask you to support the proposal from the EU Commission (EC) to reject the renewal of the authorization of Mancozeb fungicide, given its identification by EFSA as a substance with six areas of concern.

According to the agenda of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (ScoPAFF) for its meeting on 16-17 July, and following earlier exchanges of views in this Committee, EU Member States will be invited to adopt an opinion on the EC proposal for the non-renewal of the authorisation of mancozeb.

We would be grateful if you could confirm that France will strongly support the Commission’s proposal for non-renewal of the authorisation of this substance and make its vote public.

In its 2019 opinion, EFSA identified six “critical areas of concern”, i.e. six reasons why mancozeb should not be authorised by the EU, including the fact that it is a full endocrine disrupting pesticide, that it is classified as toxic to reproduction and that it poses high risks to birds, mammals, non-target arthropods and soil macro-organisms. Being toxic for reproduction and/or endocrine disrupting is sufficient to prohibit the use of the substance.

The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has classified mancozeb as “toxic for reproduction, category 1B” (R1B) due to the severity of brain malformations observed in the offspring caused by its metabolite ETU. The classification of mancozeb as a reprotoxic pesticide means, according to Regulation 1107/2009, Annex II, 3.6.4, that all contact with humans is prohibited, which almost amounts to a ban on the product.

Despite the weak data supporting its approval, mancozeb has already been granted an extension of its approval four times between 2013 and 2019. In 2019, the European Parliament adopted an objection to the extension of its authorisation in plenary. Meanwhile, human beings and the environment continue to be exposed to this toxic substance.

The use of mancozeb is far from indispensable in agriculture. Growing resistant varieties is the best alternative to mancozeb and other fungicides. For potatoes, for example, there are several dozen varieties available, with varying degrees of resistance to Phytopthora fungi. Organic agriculture uses the varieties with the best resistance (and an early harvest to avoid Phytopthora). Other farming practices, such as distance between plants or the choice of windy fields, are also useful in dealing with fungus problems. For some fungi, non-chemical biological control alternatives are also available.

You can find here a leaflet explaing the hazards of mancozeb, realized by PAN-EU.

As the EU’s vision is to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices, we are counting on your support to finally ban the use of this dangerous pesticide substance in the production of our food.

We would be grateful if you could let us know the position of the French government at the ScoPAFF meeting on 16 and 17 July.



Arnaud Apoteker, Délégué Général, Justice Pesticides

François Veillerette, Directeur, Générations Futures

André Cicolella, Président, Réseau Environnement Santé

Véronique Moreira, Présidente, Wecf France

Antoine Lambert, Président, Phyto-Victimes

Sophia Majnoni d’Intignano, Déléguée générale, FNAB

Arnaud Schwartz, Président, France Nature Environnement