Pesticide lobby accused of misleading campaign
On the poster, a man, egg beater in hand, looking determined to do battle in his kitchen, or a woman enjoying a tasting session in front of her piano. Top right, a question: "And you, what do you know about pesticides?" They do not seem to know much and it is to inform them that the Union of Plant Protection Industries (UIPP) has embarked on a vast "communication actionSince the 10 February and for six months. "We want to explain to the general public what pesticides are, explains Jean-Charles Bocquet, Director General of the UIPP. It is a process of transparency.»
Trouble. This transparency is not to the liking of environmental defense associations, which brought proceedings before the Rennes court on Friday for the UIPP on the grounds that the advertising caused a "trouble". "We want this false campaign to be suspendedSays François Veillerette of the Movement for the Rights and Respect for the Future Generations (MDRGF). "The objective of the UIPP is to make pesticides socially acceptable, by making an uninformed public believe that they are not dangerous for health and the environment, that their use is completely essential and that in any case , organic food is no better for you! ” The judge hearing the application will rule on 9 March.
The associations are also leading a cyber action against the magazines, mainly women, which published the incriminated ad. But the most interesting part will be played out in court when the MDRGF, supported by a collective of associations against the UIPP campaign, lodges a criminal complaint with the constitution of civil party for "false advertising" and "unlawful comparative advertising», After the summary. This complaint will address the fundamental problem, namely the impact of phytosanitary products on health and the environment. It is up to manufacturers to prove the harmlessness of their pesticides.
"Harmless". «Our products undergo a very precise evaluation and only those that are harmless are approved.»Recalls Jean-Charles Bocquet. The UIPP campaign wants to restore the image of phytosanitary products, whose image is tarnished, especially after the legal disputes between the Regent and the Gaucho, two pesticides accused by beekeepers of decimating their hives. In addition, consumers are becoming more concerned with the content of their plate and are buying more products from organic farming.
Environmentalists have decided to strike in the middle of the Agricultural Show, the showcase of an intensive model eager for phytosanitary products. "Pesticide is not compulsory", estimates the National Federation of Organic Agriculture. "Our agriculture is like a large hospital where plants are continually infused with fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides", Accuses Philippe Desbrosses, coordinator of the Objectif bio 2007 network, which campaigns for 100% organic farming in France.