Synthetic pesticides could have their hours counted in Switzerland. The country of the referendums votes this Sunday on the use of this type of artificial products. Its detractors assure that they not only affect bioders but also the health of people, while its defenders, manufacturers but also farmers, remember its important usefulness and insist on how safe they are and how regulated they are.
From the University of Neuchâtel, biology professor Edward Mitchell reveals that “synthetic pesticides are one of the main reasons for the decline of biodiversity, which is endangered globally but also nationally”. According to Mitchell, “Synthetic pesticides are also a threat to human health, and are the cause of countless diseases. A very small amount of these products affect the functioning of our body. We cannot accept prolonged exposure to this poison.”
But not just about synthetic pesticides. This Sunday the Swiss must also take a stand on an initiative aimed at improving the quality of drinking water, which would be achieved by cutting the subsidies of thousands of farmers who use pesticides and antibiotics for their animals, whose manure produced can contaminate the water.
“In our country we do not produce enough to feed our population,” recalls Francis Egger, deputy director of the Swiss Union of Farmers. “We are talking about the self-sufficiency rate, which are the calories we produce in Switzerland compared to those we consume. Well, currently that rate is around 60 percent, so 40 percent of our food has to be imported. , from Europe and South America “. Egger warns that this initiative “would have an effect on production, which would fall by about a third, so we would go to a self-sufficiency rate of 40 percent. That, if we want to have a sovereign state, poses enormous problems for us.”
In Switzerland, for an initiative to take effect, not only the majority of the population but also the majority of the cantons, of which there are more rural than urban, must vote in favor. The end result is in the air.