Growers in France say EU’s labelling plans may destroy lavender fields


Under the draft EU regulation, the 600-plus chemical molecules found in lavender could be potentially relabelled as dangerous, threatening the future of the industry

Purple swathes of lavender flowers growing naturally in France could be a thing of the past if new EU laws go ahead, producers have claimed.

A draft European Commission regulation which aims to create “an environment free from toxic substances” will change the legislation on certain molecules present in essential oils.

Under the EU regulation, all chemical molecules – including the 600-plus found in lavender – will be quantified and qualified, and potentially relabelled as dangerous.

“It’s a catastrophe,” said Eliane Brès, president of France Lavande, a cooperative of more than 100 producers from southeast France.

“If essential oils are classed in this way, it will be calamitous for so many people. For those who do not know better, lavender will be thought of as dangerous and this isn’t the case.

“Politicians now want to be whiter than white but this new law will not only have a dramatic effect financially on farmers and those who work in lavender, but also in every other aspect of our lives.

“It will be the end of lavender – it is that serious.” The chemicals strategy for sustainability, presented in October 2020, is part of Brussels’ Green Pact, which aims to steer Europe towards zero pollution.

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The Connexion, 9 September 2021