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Phyteis, the pesticide lobby, has again been put on notice

Mathilde Dupré, 3 July 2023

[English] [français]

In the wake of the decision issued by the President of the French Senate, Gérard Larcher, on May 3, the President of the French National Assembly, Yaël Braun Pivet, in turn issued a formal notice to the pesticide lobby, Phyteis, on June 30 for failing to comply with its ethical obligation of sincerity.

This formal notice concerns the lobbying activities carried out by Phytéis on the occasion of the examination of the PACTE law in 2019 aimed at removing the ban introduced in the so-called EGALIM law on the production on French soil of plant protection products banned for use in the European Union, in order to export them to third countries, notably developing countries.

The arguments used at the time by the pesticide industry’s interest representative were based on job losses blackmail that can now be described as "misleading", as revealed in the investigation published by journalist Pauline Chambost for Le Poulpe.

The Veblen Institute, Transparency International France, Foodwatch and Friends of the Earth France had sent these information to MP Dominique Potier, who was responsible for reporting the matter to the National Assembly’s ethics officer on February 21. This second formal notice confirms the first legal action initiated by the previous formal notice sent by the President of the Senate, and goes a step further in qualifying the facts.
The National Assembly’s compliance officer concluded that Phytéis had breached its ethical obligation of sincerity, as set out in article 9 of the Code of Conduct applicable to interest representatives at the National Assembly, which stipulates that lobbyists must refrain from transmitting "deliberately inaccurate information intended to mislead members of parliament".

See Transparency International France’s analysis of the decision.

This decision is all the more important as a consultation is underway at European level until the end of July to explore the possibility of an EU-wide ban on the export of pesticides prohibited in the EU.

The Haute Autorité pour la Transparence de la Vie Publique (High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life) has also been informed of lobbying activities carried out with the government and the administration.

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