Thousands of French Farmers Protest E.U.’s Latest Green Agenda

The protest comes in response to the ban on neonicotinoid insecticides for sugar beets.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Hundreds of tractors led by thousands of farmers traveled to Paris to protest Emmanuel Macron’s new policy banning neonicotinoid insecticides for sugar beets.
  • The ban serves as the tipping point on the already strained relations between the French government due to production costs, energy and water crises, and government-imposed regulations.
  • Secretary general of France’s main farming union, FNSEA, Jerome Despey said, “Our means of production keep being undermined by prohibitions without solutions,” adding, “Enough is enough.”
  • Farmers assert that withholding neonicotinoids make beet plans susceptible to virus yellows, a plant pathogenic virus, ironically forcing France to import beets from countries that also use neonicotinoids.
  • Neonicotinoids, chemically related to nicotine, are said to be less toxic to mammal populations and reduce the use of pesticides as a whole as they are used as seed coatings, not sprayed on fields.
  • The European Union (E.U.) banned neonicotinoids as they are reportedly toxic to bees.
  • Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau spoke with some of the farmers during the protest and is planning to have another meeting with beet representatives to “present a plan of action and support in response to the European decision.”
MORE EUROPEAN GREEN POLICY PROTESTS:
  • American Faith reported that Dutch farmers blocked roads to protest against climate mandates that would cost thousands of farmers to lose their livelihoods.
  • The July 2022 protests included more than 40,000 farmers blocking the roads and leaving manure outside government officials’ homes.
  • Italian farmers blocked the city of Milan in support of the movement in the Netherlands and so protest potential government regulations in their own country. “We are not slaves, we are farmers,” said protestors.
  • Thousands of farmers in Madrid, Spain also protested the high costs of farming, saying, “Costs continue to rise. We are cattle farmers in extinction.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Trucker protests also occurred in the United States, Canada, Israel, Italy, and Australia to rally for freedom against vaccine mandates, pushing back against government overreach.
  • The Australian convoy had 44,000 members on Facebook and 10,000 members on Telegram.
  • One chapter of the Israel Freedom Convoy saw 30,000 vehicles converge on the street in support of the protest.