Poison in agriculture – the Federal government wants to test pesticides in more detail

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Poison in agriculture – the Federal government wants to pesticides more precisely, consider A unpublizierter report of the Federal government: The approval of pesticides is a need for Reform. The proposals are spicy. Stefan Häne1 Kommentar1Warnlabel in the case of herbicides with glyphosate.Photo: Christian for such measurements, Rohde, Keystone/chrome-orange

pesticides are more dangerous than originally thought: you can bring in the Federal authorities under pressure to act. In the last 15 years, they had to pull 150 agents from the market. The best known example is the fungicide Chlorothalonil, the classified, the experts at the Federal government as a “likely carcinogen” and, therefore, the beginning of the year from the traffic have drawn.

environmental groups accuse the responsible Federal office for agriculture for a long time, to consider the applications of agro-chemicals not critical enough – an accusation which was rejected by the office under the leadership of the agriculture Minister, Guy Parmelin (SVP) always.

But now could lose Parmelins people, the responsibility for the authorisation; a previously unpublizierter, the Federation’s report suggests that this newspaper has been informed. The registration authority for pesticides should not be assigned in the future directly to the Federal office for agriculture. Possible successor to the Federal food safety and veterinary office, the health Minister Alain Berset (SP) is.

The Federal office for agriculture shall decide, on the one hand, approvals, on the other hand, it is controlled by a Central authority, which evaluated the pesticides.

the trigger for the reform plans is an Evaluation of what have made the auditors of the company KPMG last year. They came to the conclusion that the authorisation procedure for pesticides deficits in the area of Governance documents, to a lack of transparency within the authorities, but also to the Public, with the questionable role distribution. The Federal office for agriculture shall decide, on the one hand, approvals, on the other hand, it is controlled by a Central authority, which evaluated pesticides: Agroscope, agricultural research center of the Federal government, is affiliated to the BLW attached. Thus, it is in the KPMG report, mangle it in the form of institutional independence, this was having a negative impact on the credibility of the office.

More influence for the environmental authority

A working group of the Federal derives from this, the authorisation procedure for pesticides corrections need. In the as yet unpublished report, you outlined your proposals. The declared aim is to ensure the independence of the licensing body. Therefore, the Federal office for the environment (FOEN) is to take a new, more prominent role in risk assessment. Today, the participation of experts from the environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (SP) is not restricted to pesticides classified and labelled in an actual assessment you take. Would be strengthened in the future, so the environmental concerns that accompany the authorisations in each case.

Even environmental groups should be more integrated into the process: The approval reports are to be published, accompanied by improved communication of the risks that the substance brings. Another measure is implemented: organisations can make in terms of new registrations, an opinion; previously it was allowed only in the Review of an already approved active ingredient.

close the Costly search for solutions: Water intakes, new sources of water from two sources to mix, the use of filters.

The admission procedure has been discussed in the context of the ongoing pesticide debate so far, hardly. How Central its importance, however, is illustrated again by the example of Chlorothalonil. Even if the fungicide must not be used since the beginning of the year, his removal products a long time in the water. Stricter limits apply now. For water utilities, municipalities and cantons, this means a costly search for solutions: Water intakes, new sources of water from two sources to mix, the use of filters, the Zuströmgebiete of sources of hazardous substances to protect.

the Federal Council has to answer questions

The working group of the Federal government will soon be back in days. Which of your proposals it will submit to the Federal Council, ultimately, is unclear. Meanwhile, criticism from the Parliament. The Greens want to know why the Federal government inform this Causa offensive. And if the Federal office for agriculture, as the regulatory authority come into question. The Federal Council will have in the Parliament on the occasion of the question hour of next week to explain.

The pharmaceutical industry, for its part, the outlined reform has not commented on the proposals. The industry Association Scienceindustries is shown on request with the current organization satisfied. For the company, however, is less important, as the process administration will be internally designed, as long as the achievements of professionals in science-based, says the Deputy Director Marcel Sennhauser. “Much more important is that by means of an efficient and high-quality procedures a proper approval decision is made possible – and not a politically reasonable decision.”

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