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Researchers hit back at minister’s pesticide comments

Ten senior researchers and doctors have responded angrily to newly appointed agriculture minister Didier Guillaume’s suggestion that it is “up to scientists” to find any negative consequences of pesticide use.

In an open letter published in the newspaper Le Monde on 29 October, the researchers and medics promised to send Guillaume a scientific study a month on pesticide safety. “You seem to doubt the many studies that have demonstrated pesticides’ responsibility in several cancers, neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, allergic and malformative diseases,” they said.

The letter was prompted by remarks Guillaume made during an interview on the radio station RTL on 19 October, in his first public appearance since being appointed. He said: “It’s up to scientists to show evidence as to whether there are any consequences of pesticide use or not.”

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