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posted by mrpg on Monday June 07, @04:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the poisonous-pesticides-plague-the-pasture dept.

Swiss mired in poisonous row over pesticides:

[...] The Swiss will vote on Jun 13 on a proposal which, if it passes, would make Switzerland the first country in the world to ban synthetic pesticides.

Proponents seek to ban pesticides with non-naturally occurring chemicals - and not only for agriculture but also for public green spaces, private gardens, and even for killing the weeds on railway tracks.

The initiative, entitled "For a Switzerland free from synthetic pesticides", would also ban the import of foodstuffs produced with synthetic pesticides, so as not to put Swiss farmers at a disadvantage.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Monday June 07, @12:50PM (26 children)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:50PM (#1142719)

    ban synthetic pesticides

    Usually there's a lot of corruption about this.

    In CA if you can distill it out of crude oil then you can spray it on an organic farm. Also generally speaking any copper compound is "organic" even if its runoff is very toxic to fish.

    Note that pyrethrins are neurotoxic and super toxic to bees. Nicotine based organic farming bug killers kill a couple farmers per year, quite toxic.

    Its interesting that "most" natural pesticides are broader spectrum than artificial pesticides; the swiss are essentially deciding to wipe out honeybees in their country. I can see how beekeepers would be pissed in the short term, but in the long run wiping out honeybees is not going to help the plant farmers either.

    It would be interesting to see a social movement and ban on pesticides that were the most dangerous to humans and/or the environment. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case for simplistic natural vs artificial pesticides as many of the natural ones are more dangerous than some of the artificial ones.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by esperto123 on Monday June 07, @01:48PM (18 children)

    by esperto123 (4303) on Monday June 07, @01:48PM (#1142729)

    That's the fallacy of natural, pesticides are a hot topic for people who still think (by innocence or malice) that anything synthetic is by itself worse than natural compounds, and this is very misleading, there are bad stuff on both sides of the fence but usually the synthetic stuff, as you said, were developed to be more targeted and to have less side effects to the environment.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @02:40PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @02:40PM (#1142747)

      We have people who are ignorant of the world they depend on and a press that functions relentlessly to increase their ignorance. When is the last time you learned anything from the mainstream press? Common people exist to be manipulated.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:03PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:03PM (#1142777)

        The enlightened former president warned us all about teh fake news. Don't listen to them, listen to him. /bleach

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:16PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:16PM (#1142786)

          You're proving his point... This [statesman.com] includes the quotation of Trump's comments regarding "bleach":

          "A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposedly we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. (To Bryan) And I think you said you’re going to test that, too. Sounds interesting, right?

          And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful."

          Media: "Trump said drink bleach. He literally killed people. Vote Biden or you're voting for a murderer!"

          • (Score: 0, Troll) by js290 on Monday June 07, @09:00PM

            by js290 (14148) on Monday June 07, @09:00PM (#1142901)

            Offtopic: between Fauci funding GOF and Birx not knowing about the history of UV irradiation, Orange Man was only sane & reasonable person up there re:'rona...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:15PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:15PM (#1142785)

      Remember talking to a major potsmoker who was insisting that it was totally harmless because it's "natural, man!".

      So I told him that if natural things are harmless, he should load up on totally natural cobra venom. Harmless, because it's natural!

      I haven't seen a pothead so angry ever before.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday June 07, @06:24PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @06:24PM (#1142839) Journal

        Socrates last statement: "I drank what? . . ."

        --
        OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @04:31AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @04:31AM (#1143022) Journal
        Nonsense. Cobras buy their venom wholesale from Dow Chemical!
    • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Monday June 07, @04:23PM (4 children)

      by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday June 07, @04:23PM (#1142788) Journal

      I think most people who espouse for natural things don't even really understand why it is that natural is often preferable.

      The reason is because natural things are things that have been used in many cases for thousands of years, and so unforeseen consequences can be mostly discounted. By contrast today even things as benign as paracetomol/tylenol continue to have a multitude of new micro-level effects discovered and it's effectively impossible to determine whether there are any macro-level effects simply because they've become so ubiquitous that there's really no such thing as a control sample anymore.

      Of course the bastardization of this is when we are able to classify various new compounds as "natural" owing to the inability to create accurate legal definitions for such things that often have a rather hand-wavey yet still well understood connotation.

      • (Score: 1) by js290 on Monday June 07, @04:46PM (1 child)

        by js290 (14148) on Monday June 07, @04:46PM (#1142800)

        Naturalistic fallacy applies to ethics, not risk. The Precautionary Principle... within the statistical and probabilistic structure of “ruin” problems. [fooledbyrandomness.com]

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @04:33AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @04:33AM (#1143023) Journal
          I don't see a PP (Precautionary Principle) analysis of PP at that link. But then again, if they did, they wouldn't be doing PP.

          Eat your own dogfood - and choke on it.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:49PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:49PM (#1142822)

        > things as benign as paracetomol/tylenol

        Poor example. That stuff _is_ poison. Even using the recommended daily dose for too long a consecutive period can cause liver damage. The LD50 (median lethal dose) and effective dose are way too similar. Amazing it is sold over-the-counter nearly everywhere in the world.

        • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Monday June 07, @06:17PM

          by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday June 07, @06:17PM (#1142834) Journal

          Yeah, very fair point. Terrible word choice on my part. I suppose by benign, I should say 'normalized' or something. Because it definitely is not benign.

    • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @08:32PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @08:32PM (#1142892)

      Pretty sure this guy is spamming. The links look very suspicious, anybody wanna check? I ain't doin' it!

      • (Score: 1) by js290 on Monday June 07, @08:58PM (3 children)

        by js290 (14148) on Monday June 07, @08:58PM (#1142900)
        not a lotta confidence in reliability of ACs...

        "Wittgenstein's ruler: Unless you have confidence in the ruler's reliability, if you use a ruler to measure a table you may also be using the table to measure the ruler." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

        — Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Wisdom (@TalebWisdom) April 9, 2020 [twitter.com]

        Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy's Maxim): "Most of the time, people’s observations about something else reveal more about the observer than what’s being observed." [bit.ly]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @09:37PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @09:37PM (#1142916)

          You could not hide your links with bitly, but I guess complaining is more your kind of speed.

          • (Score: 1) by js290 on Tuesday June 08, @02:14AM (1 child)

            by js290 (14148) on Tuesday June 08, @02:14AM (#1142997)

            An AC accusing someone of hiding, that's rich... The yt vids are bookmarked with bitly, anonymous idiot.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:59AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:59AM (#1143013)

              Just cough up the real link, and you might get some respect. That "bitly" shit looks like goatse spam.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @09:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @09:11PM (#1142905)

    One of the big issues with organic is that most people have no idea about the pesticides that are allowable under the regulations. People also don't realize how dangerous naturally occurring substances can be. For example, cyanide is completely natural. Organic also includes a bunch of stuff that's really not that important while still allowing the use of pesticides that many people wouldn't expect.