A study raises the limits of biofuels.

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Bank Sarasin criticizes ethanol from the perspective of sustainable development.

Bank Sarasin (BSAN.S), renowned for its analyzes of the sustainable development of economic sectors, looks at biofuels, including ethanol, a form of alcohol produced by fermenting natural sugars. The theme is hot: Switzerland opened Thursday, in Winterthur, its first gas station equipped with bioethanol (price of the liter 20% lower than unleaded gasoline). And the IPOs of the main producers are multiplying in the United States.

Fertilizers and pesticides

From a sustainable development perspective, the sector reveals some obvious strengths, but Matthias Fawer looks at his weaknesses for a long time. It is so restrained that the bio prefix ends up surprising. The bank highlights overexploitation of crops, through increased use of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the risk of deforestation. It criticizes the competition of arable surfaces with the food industry: 50% of the rapeseed is already used for the production of biodiesel. Prices for some food products are already on the rise, especially those of vegetable oils. Social and environmental conditions, described as "critical" in developing countries, reinforce the bank's fears, as well as the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Indeed the experts talk about the development of "energy plants".

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