Pesticide law stopped: Black day for consumers


As of: November 22, 2023 5:14 p.m

After the end of the pesticide law, conservatives and farmers’ organizations are acting as if everything is fine now – because food remains cheap. But: It is a potential danger to life and limb.

It is exactly as Sarah Wiener, the former TV star chef, organic farmer and Austrian Green European Parliament member, said today after the vote in Strasbourg: This is a black day – for European agriculture and for consumers.

A majority of conservatives, Christian Democrats, populists and probably also some Social Democrats do not want stricter rules for the use of poisons in agriculture – pesticides, as they are properly called.

Residues of the poison may remain

The traditional and intensive agricultural economy likes to use the term “plant protection products” – but this stuff only protects plants so that they grow quickly, market-friendly, profit-oriented; in fact, it destroys life – other plants, insects, even more if in doubt.

Because then there is also human health. And one thing is clear: Everything that we as humans spray, sprinkle or otherwise distribute on our food ends up at least partially on our plates and then in our bodies.

You may not want to know that exactly, and you always wash the fruit and vegetables thoroughly before you eat them. But it’s possible that that’s not enough, that residues of the poison remain, that our body has to deal with it. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t.

Rejected – what was supposed to serve health

You have to keep that in mind to understand what happened in the European Parliament today: something that was ultimately supposed to benefit human health was rejected. Of course, also the preservation of biodiversity so that in the long term something will still grow in fields and on trees that we can then eat. But it should be about everyone’s health and hopefully a long and good life.

That’s why it’s particularly tasteless when conservatives and farmers’ organizations now act as if this Strasbourg decision was good for consumers because food remains so cheap. Exactly: at the price of at least the potential danger to life and limb. That’s not cheap, and that’s not right either. But it’s apparently desired at the moment.

Ecology, sustainability, European Green Deal? It was all yesterday. Today the rule is backwards, the main thing is big returns, the main thing is full shelves. Looks good, sure.

But it could be bad for all of us. But as it is, you only notice it later. A pity.

Holger Beckmann, ARD Brussels, tagesschau, November 22nd, 2023 4:38 p.m

Editorial note

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