Farmers should not only help. Anyone who uses these substances should make a significant contribution to reducing pesticides in Switzerland, including gardening hobbies or the public sector. This calls on the CSP National Council Karl Vogler in a submission he submitted yesterday. Every year 2000 tonnes of pesticides are released into the environment in Switzerland, which is estimated at 85 percent in agriculture. "We must not neglect non-agricultural applications," says Vogler.
The Federal Council should now draw up an action plan – the other. It has already adopted the Action Plan for Plant Protection Products in 2017. It wants to cut the risks of using pesticides and promote alternative chemical pests. This action plan is geared to agriculture, but includes some measures that are not directly relevant to farmers, such as stricter criteria for the approval of pesticides for non-professional use. With its initiative Vogler wants to make a group of users outside of agriculture more responsible.
Instrument is not legally binding. That's why GLP, Green and SP want to make a binding Plant Protection Action Plan by adapting the law – and thus create an anti-Poverty Drinking Initiative and a popular initiative "For Switzerland Without Synthetic Pesticides". But the bourgeois majority in the National Council dismissed initiatives and counter-proposal overnight, preferring reliance on the action plan. Vogler also voted that way.
What are the action plans?
The attack has a good chance, with 70 national councils signing it all. Nevertheless, criticism is excluded. Although the leader of the GLP group Tiana Moser has signed the request because the action plan is better than anything. "But those who are really serious in the fight against pesticides," says Moser, "do not call for new action plans, but are working on counterproductive at the legislative level."
Vogler rejects criticism. Farmers have seriously tried to reduce pesticide intake. "The action plan works, it's a real instrument." The Federal Bureau of Agriculture also talks about timely implementation. For example, farmers receive contributions to support herbicide. In 2018 they fertilized 14 percent of fruit and vineyards without herbicides, twice as much as 2017.
The Council of States is progressing
Regardless of Vogler's initiative, the struggle for counterproductive pesticide initiatives continues. The next week, the Advisory Committee of the Council of States is emphasizing the agreement. Roberto Zanetti (SP) will be there for the counter-attack, he says. For most, the SP, GLP and Green Party vote for the FDP and CVP – those parties who have rejected the majority motion at the National Council. Tiana Moser hopes that CVP will "take part in serious solutions". Panel members from CVP, but also from FDP are on request, but are still covered.