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.

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Peter Crosskey is based in the UK.