The Breton mayor of Langouët, who was summoned to court for having issued a decree banning the use of pesticides near houses, is supported by hundreds of people.
Hundreds of people gathered Thursday 22nd August 2019 before the Administrative Court of Rennes in support of the mayor of Langouët (Ille-et-Vilaine), summoned for taking a decree prohibiting the use of pesticides near homes.
“Madame the prefect, let our mayors protect us”, posted a banner deployed by supporters to Daniel Cueff, the mayor of Langouët, a town of 602 inhabitants.
On May 18th, it had issued an order banning the use of plant protection products “at a distance of fewer than 150 meters from any cadastral parcel comprising a building used for residential or professional purposes”. The decree was attacked by the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine .
The call of poppies
Around 9am, between 500 people, according to the police, and more than a thousand, according to the organizers, were already present in the administrative court to support the mayor.
Among them, Valérie, 48, resident of Langouët, distributes posters “DEP 150 – distance away from pesticides”. She explains to AFP .
“We came by bus to support all the mayors who take this kind of initiative.”
“What is the power of a mayor? Can a mayor ignore the health of its inhabitants? Daniel Cueff told the judge, recalling that he has not banned pesticides, but introduced “a distance away pesticides on a plot that remains cultivable with less hazardous products.”
On the legal side, he recalls that a European directive obliges states since 2009 to protect their inhabitants from the application of pesticides and that the Council of State partially cancelled in June an order regulating the use of pesticides on the grounds that he did not protect the health of the residents sufficiently.
On the political front, the president called on the judge to preserve a decree that “goes in the direction of history”, evoking an “unprecedented background movement” with an ultra-sensitive population and six-year-olds ” where glyphosate levels are 30 times higher than the threshold allowed in drinking water. ”
Thunder of applause
In addition to the incompetence of the mayor, state representatives argued the absence of “particular local circumstances and imminent peril” that would justify his decision, ensuring that the Egalim law provides for the introduction of measures from 1 January 2020. specific.
“For 15 years, the state says it will do but it does not. Do we have to go to the wall to wake up? Replied Arnaud Delomel, the mayor’s lawyer.
The decision of the court will be known early next week.
Upon his release, Daniel Cueff was acclaimed by thunderous applause. Michel Besnard, president of the Western Pesticide Support Group, says:
“We are at a moment of tipping over, the state will have to put itself on the side of the population.”
Among the historical supporters, Charlie Hebdo editorial staff, whose “We want poppies” call, launched in September 2018 for the ban on synthetic pesticides, has collected more than 800,000 signatures.