Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture. (CHAM / GABRIELLE FERRANDI)
A decree must be published this Tuesday, February 22 prohibiting for a period of one year the importation and marketing of meat from farm animals using growth antibiotics.
The use of growth antibiotics has been banned in the European Union since 2006. France will put an end to imports of meat from farm animals using this practice, according to the government on Monday 21 February.
The decree must be published this Tuesday in the Official Journal, it therefore prohibits the import and marketing of these products for a period of one year.
The text gives professionals two months to “question their suppliers and have the assurance that at the end of the end the meat does not come from breeding using growth antibiotics”, declared to AFP the Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie.
Outside the EU, farms add antibiotics to animal feed to promote their growth and not for treatment purposes.
A “nonsense in terms of environmental health”
“In huge fattening centers, they don’t bother. The animal is on antibiotics throughout its fattening period. This allows it to be overfed without causing digestion problems, it is always in good shape”, described recently Bruno Dufayet, president of the National Bovine Federation, a specialized section of the FNSEA.
The practice is called into question for its contribution to the emergence of microbes resistant to antibiotics used to treat human or animal infections.
For Julien Denormandie, it is “a nonsense in terms of environmental health because these farms which use growth antibiotics create antibiotic resistance, which is dangerous for our environment at all”.
It is “also an aberration in terms of sovereignty because we put our beautiful local, respectful, quality-oriented productions in competition with products from production that still use these growth antibiotics”, adds the minister.
He cites the examples of the poultry exporting countries of Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand.
“We must move quickly on these subjects”
The ban on the import of these products was expected on a European scale by the end of January 2022 at the latest.
“I think we have to move quickly on these subjects. This deadline having passed, I am taking a measure at the national level”, supports the minister who campaigns to impose on imported agricultural products the same health and environmental standards as in Europe.
The French ban is a “political signal” a few weeks before the first round of the presidential election and a handful of days before the Salon de l’Agriculture, believes Bruno Dufayet, who also chairs the societal issues commission of the meat interprofession Interbev .
Interbev believes, however, that this measure “will only be 100% effective if it applies to the entire European market”.