Merchants of doubt in the environmental sector endlessly accuse the agricultural world of being among the key ills the world faces, and politicians latch on to such populist rhetoric in municipal elections.
Several municipalities have even issued anti-pesticide buffers in agricultural areas citing the precautionary principle.
Now, French farmers are fighting back, noting that agriculture is more friendly to the environment than ever and that concern should instead be directed toward cities and towns that continue to expand and create more pollution, while deflecting blame onto farming.
France has lost a quarter of its suitable farmland over the last fifty years, they note, which has meant that growing cities have now begun to encroach on French farms. Urban activists now want the farms to stop using pesticides because of their invasion.
Do we want concrete or wheat, they ask? Is it better to build or feed? Those are the real questions French society faces. And to ask them is to answer them already.
France is leading Europe in leading the world in blocking innovation, they say, while while scientific progress is happening elsewhere.