They had spotted the right opportunity by offering for sale glyphosate, this powerful herbicide whose authorization the European Commission has just renewed for ten years with France’s abstention at the time of the vote. Concern: the sale of this pesticide, which has harmful effects on health or the environment, has been subject to approval in France since January 1, 2019. Its marketing is therefore the prerogative of a few structures. What three young men from Vaucluse were unaware of, intentionally or not, who will be judged on Tuesday by the Avignon Criminal Court for having sold this product online. It seemed that everyone was doing their own little business in their own corner, with no connection between them.
“My client practiced dropshipping various agricultural products with his self-business,” explains Farid Faryssy, the lawyer for one of the three defendants, aged just 20. Dropshipping is an Internet sale in which the seller only takes care of the marketing and sale of the product. It is the seller’s supplier who ships the goods to the end consumer. When he received an order, it actually went to a Spanish supplier, who shipped it directly to his customer, ultimately pocketing only a margin on this transaction.
“Glyphosate is available over the counter in other countries such as Spain. So, okay, he didn’t respect the regulations, we don’t dispute that and he didn’t know them, even if no one is supposed to ignore the law. But we’re taking it pretty easy, because we’re accusing three young people of having sold glyphosate even though we eat it in the form of residue and find it in groundwater,” continues the lawyer.
According to France Nature Environnement, civil party in this case, the three young people would have had more than 650 customers. On the Internet, the 5 liter container of glyphosate marketed by a major pesticide brand sells for 140 euros. The three defendants risk two years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros.