Macron says glyphosate to be banned in France within three years

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a military award ceremony in the courtyard of the Invalides in Paris, France, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he would take all measures necessary to ensure that weed-killer glyphosate is banned in France as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years.

Macron announced the move on Twitter after Germany defeated France in a tight vote in Brussels.

The EU vote cleared the use of glyphosate for the next five years after a heated debate over whether the weed-killer originally developed by Monsanto causes cancer. France had pushed for the whole bloc to renew the license for only three years. [L8N1NX45N]

Despite the 5-year extension, EU rules allow France to unilaterally ban the substance. It has already decided to do so for private individuals in 2019.

“I have asked the government to take the necessary measures for the use of glyphosate to be banned in France as soon as alternatives are found, and at the latest in three years. #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain,” Macron said in his Tweet.

“Five years is too long,” Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said on RTL radio, adding: “Three years seems to be a reasonable timeframe to get everyone on board.”

Reporting by Sybille de la Hamaide, Ingrid Melander, Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Peter Graff