SAINT-GENES-CHAMPANELLE, France (Reuters) - France will not force farmers to stop using controversial weed-killer glyphosate after a ban planned within three years, in cases where an alternative has not been found, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.
He added that this would likely concern 10 percent of farms while solutions could be found for the other 90 percent.
Macron said in November he would take all measures necessary to ensure glyphosate would be banned in France as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years.
This followed a European Union decision to extend the use of the weed-killer for another five years after a heated debate over whether glyphosate originally developed by Monsanto causes cancer.
"I will never impose a ban if there is no credible alternative," Macron said in a speech to farmers.
"We cannot leave a farmer without a solution or with a solution that would not be viable because someone else nearby would not have the same constraints."
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Gus Trompiz)