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Glyphosate: for the mayor of Bègles, an analysis of hair that relaxes

On Friday, Clément Rossignol Puech, the environmentalist mayor of Bègles, presented to the press the results of the analysis of one of his locks of hair. The experiment revealed the presence of numerous pesticides in his organism.

"Personally, apart from my clothes, all of my consumption is organic, right down to my cleaning products," admits Clément Rossignol Puech. On Friday, accompanied by the president of Générations Futures, François Veilllerette and Franck Dubourdieu, an active member of the Association of Doctors against Pesticides (AMLP), the ecological mayor of Bègles said he wanted to "serve from cobaye" to testify to the impact of pesticides and phytosanitary products on our health on a daily basis.

On February 23rd, he had a lock of hair taken from his head to reveal the presence of pesticides in his body and to denounce the systematic pollution of the environment, including in urban areas.

Nearly 4 months after the examination, the analysis reveals the existence of no less than 5 organic pollutants in its metabolism, including glyphosate, a herbicide registered since 4 years on the list of "probably carcinogenic" products of the International Agency for Research against Cancer. An alarming result, which has become sadly commonplace. It takes into account all the pollutants contained in the mayor's blood during the last 3 months before the examination.

"Classic" results

"These are fairly classic results" says doctor and anti-pesticide activist Franck Dubourdieu. Already in January, the programme Envoyé Spécial revealed that traces of this pesticide were present in the organism of the entire population, in varying proportions. Out of the 5 organic pollutants detected in the mayor's house of Bègles, two of them have binding statuses: one is prohibited (Coumatétralyl) and the other is under surveillance (Thiacloprid).

"Even in a commune that has been banning pesticides for 12 years and has made a specific effort, we still find traces of organic pollutants in large doses", notes Clément Rossignol Puech.

Bègles, led by Noël Mamère from 1989 to 2017, chose to ban the use of pesticides in its public spaces as early as 2006, ahead of national legislation. In 2017, the Labbé law banned the use of synthetic pesticides by local authorities, and by individuals since January 2019.

"Exposure to pesticides can lead to problems of chronic disease and reproductive illnesses; it is a public health issue, recalls François Veillerette. Hair had been analysed in the Médoc, and it was among the wine workers that there were the most traces of pesticides. We understood that the agricultural world of Gironde had changed its discourse but we are waiting for action."

Together with the journalist Fabrice Nicolino, he wrote the manifesto book that collected 500,000 signatures: We want poppies.

For Franck Dubourdieu, "the eradication of pesticides will be a political decision." Today, the CAP does not advocate transition. It is urgent to change the agricultural model. If 75% of wine growers can only live with weeded vines and are dependent on pesticides to survive, it is the economic model that is at stake."