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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: 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.

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  • (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. []

    • (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.