Call for a Pesticide-Free Spring: This year, Slow Food joins the Pesticide Action Week!
The 13th edition of the Pesticide Action Week is starting. Along with other organizations, Slow Food is participating in the initiative, organized by the French anti-pesticide advocates, Générations Futures (future generations): this year, the focus is on Food Issues, a theme that particularly resonates with our association.
Starting today, conferences, film showings, open days, organic cooking classes, markets, exhibitions, workshops and information sessions, by and for associations, farmers, businesses, teachers, local governments and councils, will seek to inform consumers about the risks of pesticides to the environment and our health and to encourage the use of alternative methods.
Three main goals have been outlined:
- Raise awareness of the health and environment risks of synthetic pesticides
- Highlight and promote alternative solutions
- Build a global grassroots movement for a pesticide-free world
It is, of course, not news that pesticides can have a catastrophic impact on the environment, on human health and society in general, but having it accepted it conclusively as fact remains a challenge, given that the multinationals responsible for producing them continue to assert that they are a fundamental part of any plan to guarantee a food supply sufficient for 9 billion people, the projected global population in 2050. And unfortunately, many government responses of the hazards to the earth and waterways, humans and wildlife (especially pollinators like bees), have ranged over the years from total apathy to blatant denial.
Meanwhile, the case against using pesticides continues to grow, with many fears about pollution and risks to the environment, human health and animals being confirmed again and again by mounting evidence.
The European commission carries out audits and investigations to enforce the rules and regulations of the EU with regards to pesticide use and resulting food safety. This aims to help protect European consumers from issues related to food health, but by their own admission the directorate general in charge of the checks cannot guarantee their efficacy. There needs to be strong, decisive action taken in order to ensure that the correct guidelines are put in place and followed to prevent the further degradation of the environment and risks to wildlife and human health that are caused by the use of pesticides.
Slow Food, along with many other organizations, promotes a future without pesticides, a future that puts the value of food and the dignity of the producers at its core. It is a synthesis which incorporates agroecology, and merges social, environmental, cultural and economic aspects. A drastic reduction in pesticides is realistic and necessary.