Scientists hold funeral procession for insects

A hundred people formed a funeral procession on Saturday in Paris to denounce, at the call of scientists, the “catastrophic consequences of the massive use of pesticides and to promote another agricultural model”, noted an AFP photographer.

The Scientific Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion associations organized this procession at the Jardin des Plantes, in front of the National Museum of Natural History, under the banner “Silent Spring: pesticides kill”.

The action, organized in parallel with the Agricultural Show, refers to the book silent spring of the North American biologist Rachel Carson, “first whistleblower in 1962 on the dangerousness of synthetic pesticides”, according to the press release from the associations.

The NGOs Pollinis, Future Generations, Avenir Santé Environnement and Alert des Médecins sur les Pesticides took part in the event.

Massive decline

Activists took the floor, while others lay down on the ground, to the rhythm of gongs. Artists, “dressed in red to symbolize the blood of extinct species, wandered among the participants dressed in black and the scientists in white coats”, describes the press release.

“Scientific studies show a drastic drop in the abundance of insects, including certain pollinators, which has reached 60 to 80% in Europe for thirty years, as well as a massive decline of 30% in the populations of birds in agricultural habitats. in thirty years in France, ”said Benoît Fontaine, ornithologist member of Scientists in Rebellion, quoted in the press release.

Pesticides on the verge of extinction

After recent restrictions on the use of pesticides which are of concern to farmers, Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday at the Salon de l’Agriculture the launch of a new plan aimed in particular at coordinating the action of France with that of the European Union. .

France plans to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides by 50% by 2025.

Many farmers consider that the range of authorized pesticides (insecticides, fungicides or herbicides) has been excessively reduced in recent years, leaving them faced with “dead ends”.

A European court decision has forced France to abandon the exemptions granted to beet growers on neonicotinoids, which are toxic to bees.

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