French pesticide decree sets a precedent

Photo credit: Claude Stefan

Among the last executive acts of the Fillon government in France was the passing of a decree to recognise Parkinson’s Disease as an occupational illness for agriculture. It is a concession made following the pesticide protests at the Paris farm show SIA in February, but limited in its extent.

Sufferers will need to be diagnosed by a recognised neurologist and will have to prove that they have been exposed to pesticides for 10 years. In return, they will have their medical expenses covered for a year.

A precedent has been set. But, for such an incapacitating chronic disease, a year’s medical attention is a curmudgeonly gesture. Treatments are being developed on the basis of five, ten or fifteen years and more.

The same decree allocates 40 years’ medical cover in the case of nasal-pharyngeal cancers arising from exposure to formaldehyde during such procedures as cleaning mushroom beds or treating animal skins. The full text (in French) can be found on the LégiFrance website.

Peter Crosskey
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Peter Crosskey is based in the UK.