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Switzerland: voters reject pesticide elimination

MP Filippo Gallinella: "Logically, it was like asking citizens to abolish drugs for them or for animals"

While the EU is about to approve the Farm to Fork plan, considered unrealistic by many, which also provides for the drastic reduction of chemical pesticides, the majority of Swiss voters have declared their opposition to the elimination of the same pesticides in agriculture. This is what emerges from the results of the referendum that ended yesterday. About 61% of citizens rejected the two initiatives that would have imposed a national ban on synthetic pesticides within 10 years and outlawed imported food produced using these components.

“It was logical that it would end like this! It would have been like asking citizens to abolish drugs for themselves or for animals. We must work for a conscious use of all substances, punish those who do not respect the rules and promote a healthy life and a balanced diet”. This is the comment of the deputy Filippo Gallinella (M5S), president of the Agriculture commission in the Italian Parliament.

"Through new technologies, I am thinking of precision agriculture and digitalization, we will be able to improve the use of pesticides by calibrating the right doses necessary for the well-being of plants and avoiding unnecessarily wasting them in the environment - he continues - With the funds provided for by the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience, we will be able to improve production techniques, combining environmental and economic sustainability to guarantee quality food, at affordable prices for as many people as possible with the least impact on the planet".

On pesticides, in particular, there were two initiatives subject to referendum in Switzerland: the first, 'For a Switzerland free from synthetic pesticides', provided for a national ban within 10 years, with a ban on the marketing of imported foods produced in this way; while the second, 'For clean drinking water and healthy food' aimed to limit government subsidies only to farms that do not use pesticides and use antibiotics only to treat sick animals (therefore not for "preventive" purposes). The referendum also aimed to eliminate the amount of sewage used on the fields, and therefore potentially introduced into the water system.

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