FRANCE 2 – TUESDAY JUNE 6 – 9:10 PM – MAGAZINE
In the current period of general mistrust, rumors are swelling: organic is not really good for your health, or even not really “organic”… While the sector is going through an unprecedented crisis, accentuated by inflation, we can only rejoice that “Cash Investigation” takes hold of the subject. The reputation of pugnacity of Elise Lucet, who embodies the magazine, being well established, viewers should follow this episode with interest, and find themselves reassured.
Still it is necessary to recall some bases, little known, according to the micro-sidewalk carried out on a market. First, organic farming (AB) does not prohibit all pesticides, insecticides or fungicides, but only synthetic ones. Then, “natural” does not mean harmless. The hemlock or amanita phalloides plants are deadly. Their use must therefore be supervised and controlled.
There is thus a list of inputs authorized in organic farming, certified by the Technical Institute of Organic Agriculture and available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture. The journalist François Cardona used this list of around sixty substances, broken down into 392 marketed products, to carry out the investigation… for almost a year. Three caught his attention: the Bacillus thuringiensisknown as “BT”, the most widespread biological insecticide in the world, spinosad and pyrethrum.
In front of his camera, specialists, such as Marcel Amichot, research fellow at INRA Sophia Antipolis, express their doubts about BT. At the CNRS, Raphaël Rousset is studying the intestines of Drosophila flies to assess possible toxicity. Before recalling that the BT remains on the surface of the priors, unlike synthetic pesticides, and that it suffices to wash them to avoid any risk. “Do you think we cut fruit flies in four? »humorously asks François Cardona.
Faced with Elise Lucet, Philippe Camburet, president of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB), does not allow himself to be destabilized. A farmer himself, he confidently applies the directives of regulatory bodies.
Spinosad is suspected of being an endocrine disruptor, even if there is no formal proof. It has been proven, however, that this neurotoxin is a “bee killer”. This raises the question of the regulation and limitation of its use.
Different, the investigation of pyrethrum is conducted in the highlands of Kenya, the leading producer of this daisy-shaped flower and a natural insecticide, non-toxic to bees, to humans and to warm-blooded animals. The problem, this time, are the production conditions, from the packaging sites to the fields, where women, babies strapped to their backs, spend their days bent over for a derisory salary.
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Nevertheless, “organic is progresssays François Cardona at World. What we emphasize here are the control flaws, but not the uses. Even if it means being exemplary, you might as well make sure that these products (organic) are harmless”. Without cutting fruit flies in four.
“Cash Investigation: bio alert! », by François Cardona (Fr., 2023, 52 min), followed by a debate with Sophia Majnoni, from the FNAB, Rémi Dumas, winegrower from Young Farmers, Charles Hervé-Gruyer, from the Bec Hellouin farm, Christian Huyghe , from INRA, Stéphane Marie, from “Silence is growing”.