Posted today at 12h58
The initiative “For clean drinking water and healthy food” has the favor of a liberal committee. After Parliament’s reluctance to reduce pesticides in agriculture, the people must be able to speak out. The vote is scheduled for June 13.
The committee brings together members of the Liberals and the PLR, although the liberal-radical party officially recommends the rejection of the text. Agriculture has enormous environmental problems, according to Tiana Moser, president of the PVL, who summoned the press to Bern on Thursday. With the initiative, we put an end to the inaction in agricultural policy.
Pesticides, excessive fertilizers and antibiotics administered as a preventive measure will no longer be subsidized by the State. The initiative does not want to cross out direct payments, but relies on incentives. She calls for farmers to be able to receive direct payments only if they meet various ecological requirements.
“Switzerland cannot invest billions in agriculture if, at the same time, it pollutes our soils and our waters with excessive amounts of chemicals,” says Tiana Moser. During the last decades, a third of insect species have disappeared in our meadows, a dramatic development ”, she illustrated.
But it is not only insects and birds that are threatened, the waters are also affected. One can find there “real cocktails of poisons where some 80 different toxic substances are identified, according to the national adviser. “Around a million people now have water that does not meet the standards in force.”
Blockages in Parliament
In Parliament, solutions to reduce the use of pesticides are either watered down, put on hold or rejected. Last March, he was very reluctant to force the cantons to delimit supply areas for water catchments of general interest until 2035.
The freezing of the PA22 + agricultural policy, a project towards more sustainable agriculture, is another example of the prevailing political reluctance, according to national adviser Matthias Samuel Jauslin (PLR / AG).
The agricultural lobby is doing everything to block the smallest step towards better protection of water, “one of our most precious assets”, abounds Christian Wasserfallen (PLR / BE). The initiative therefore constitutes a means of pressure to move the lines.
For him, there are several ways to implement the text. The new agrarian techniques offer solutions, while the consumer has the choice of the products he buys. Parliament will be able to use its room for maneuver to implement the initiative. The text provides for a transitional period of eight years to adapt.
The Bernese specifies categorically rejecting the other initiative “for a Switzerland without synthetic pesticides”, also submitted to the people on June 13, but far too excessive in his eyes.
The two texts have nothing to do with: the initiative for drinking water aims through incentives to redirect direct payments to farmers who will opt for ecological agriculture. The second imposes bans, explains Christian Wasserfallen.
Another committee bringing together WWF, Greenpeace, Pro Natura, Aqua Viva, Doctors for the Environment, BirdLife and the Swiss Fishing Federation (FSP) has also been set up to support the initiative.
Posted today at 12h58
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