In a decision dated october 25th 2019, the Administrative Court of Rennes canceled a municipal decree prohibiting the use of pesticides in the territory of the municipality of Langouet, and reminded that 'nor the provisions of the General Code of Local and Regional Authorities which gave the mayor, who is responsible for public order in the territory of his commune, the power to take the general police measures necessary for good order and security, public safety and health, neither articles L. 1311-1 and L. 1311-2 of the Public Health Code allowing it to intervene to protect human health and health, nor article 5 of the Environmental Charter, and finally, the principle of free administration of local authorities cannot in any case allow the mayor of a municipality to interfere in the exercise of this special police by the enactment of a local regulation».

Similarly, while in its order of November 8th, 2019 the Administrative Court of Cergy-Pontoise ruled that «plant protection products constitute a serious danger for exposed populations» and decided not to cancel two decrees adopted by the mayors of two communes of the Hauts-de-Seine, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles decided by six decrees of May 14th 2020, to suspend the execution of the decrees of the mayors of Bagneux, Chaville, Gennevilliers, Malakoff, Nanterre and Sceaux prohibiting the use of glyphosate herbicide in the territory of these communes. In these orders the judge pointed the absence of characterization not only of a serious or imminent danger but also of particular local circumstances.
These decisions revive a debate on the distinction between general and special administrative police powers and on the means of action of local authorities to preserve the health of their population.
The Minister of Agriculture is in charge of the administration of plant protection products. The mayor of a municipality, having a general police power, may in no case interfere in the exercise of this special police by the enactment of a local regulation.

In this context, the Senate delegation to local and regional authorities organized a round table in the Senate on December 19th 2019 inviting elected officials to discuss the topic of "healthy and sustainable food: what means of action for local and regional authorities?". It led to the drafting of a report on good practices and recommendations brought together by local elected officials.
The good practices that have emerged do not require changes to the regulatory framework or changes to the legislative framework. These include the extension of the practice of non-use of plant protection products to cemeteries and sports fields, Alliances of territories and communities to promote short circuits and organic agriculture or the preservation of the classification of peri-urban agricultural lands in local planning plans and land projects.
The elected representatives also highlighted recommendations requiring normative changes in order to extend their general police power when phytosanitary products are involved, in the event of serious or imminent danger combined with inaction by the special police authority.