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Parkinson's pesticides: Left calls for recognition as an occupational disease

If you get sick through your work, the state helps you. There are 80 so-called occupational diseases. Parkinson is not one of the farmers, growers, and gardeners. At least in Germany – in France already. The Left also demands recognition in this country.


August 14, 2019, 2:44 pm

Osnabrück | Osnabrück. In France, Parkinson's disease is recognized as an occupational disease among farmers, winemakers and gardeners, and in Germany it will take several years for appropriate testing. The Federal Government has now notified the request of the Left Party.

Left-wing agricultural expert Kirsten Tackmann takes too long. She said: "The Left not only requires completion of the examination process within a year, but finally a long-recognized recognition as an occupational disease." It is cynical to continue to refuse assistance to victims, so it is Tackmann.

Review started – but still ongoing

In June, the competent medical advisory council of the German federal government first determined the "general suitability" of Parkinson's disease for occupational disease in agricultural occupations. Now, in a second step, it will scientifically investigate whether professional representatives have a significantly higher risk of disease than the general population due to pesticide handling, according to the Federal Ministry of Labor. This is supposed to be a "multi-year consultation period".

France has already passed the corresponding recognition in 2012 with a decree. Processing times in Germany are "unacceptably long", so Tackmann.

Scientist: The context is undeniable

Research in recent years has identified a link between Parkinson's disease and pesticides used or used in the agricultural sector. Beate Ritz, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, told our editors, "There is plenty of evidence in research. In my opinion, this is indisputable. Parkinson's disease must be recognized as an occupational disease in the agricultural sector," she concluded.

With due recognition, patients are entitled to legal accident insurance. These could be, for example, rehabilitation costs or pension payments.

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A total of 80 diseases are currently listed on occupational diseases. Parkinson doesn't count. The Federal Government's response shows that a total of 47 "suspected medical reports due to pesticide exposure" have been received from Agricultural Social Insurance for Agriculture, Forestry and Gardening (SVLFG) in recent years. This was by no means a recognition of occupational disease.

Those affected still have the opportunity to be recognized as an "occupational disease". In this way, individual cases should show their worth when there is a proven link between illness and occupation. Between 2001 and 2007, four employees worked in the field of agriculture. Since then no one else. As reported by the Federal Government, four patients have received almost € 550,000 in rehabilitation or retirement benefits since 2013. ^

A Hagen gardener in Osnabrücker Land is trying to make a confession in court. In June, Ulrich Elixmann (photo) spoke to our editorial board and reported on how pesticides are handled.

Photo by Dirk Fisser

Photo by Dirk Fisser

Elixman said: "It is impossible to imagine today that they have carelessly disposed of pesticides." Gloves and mouth protectors were not used, while others in the agricultural sector described that clogged lethal injection jets were blown out by mouth. Then the substances used were no longer allowed in Europe.

However, it is unclear to which active substances the examination of the Federal Government Expert Council concentrates. The Federal Ministry of Labor did not want to say so on request.

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