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Week without pesticides becomes "Pesticides Alternatives Week"

INFORMATION RELEASE, Pesticides Alternatives Week, 20-30 March 2011 - More than 600 events are already planned for the 6th week without pesticides, now called "Pesticides Alternatives Week", 20-30 March 2011. They include walk-about events, the launch of a network of pesticide sufferers in France, and an expansion of activities into Africa.

Associations, citizens and companies are invited to organise events to help demonstrate that there are alternatives to pesticides. Suggested activities include information workshops, film shows, debates, and site visits aimed at making people aware of the problems associated with pesticides.

Walk-about demonstrations to say "Yes to Pesticides Alternatives" are planned all over France and in several other countries on Saturday, 26 March.

HEAL is taking part in the launch of the new network called Phyto Victimes, which brings together pesticide sufferers in Ruffec, near Poitiers, France on Saturday 19 March. Project initiator and host, Paul Francois is a conventional farmer who was intoxicated by inhalation of a herbicide. The event includes a screening of “Notre poison quotidien”, which will take place in the presence of the director, Marie-Monique Robin and a press conference about the network launch in which Genon Jensen, Executive Director, HEAL and François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures will take part.

To highlight the public health dimension and to coincide with the launch of the Week, HEAL has developed a new toolkit for pesticide reduction for communities as part of its Sick of Pesticides campaign. The booklet draws on our international campaign experience on pesticides and health to create a six step guide full of examples and campaign material.

"EU legislation calls for a reduction in pesticide use but governments are not implementing the policy quickly enough. Local initiatives demonstrate the chemical-free options and show that pesticide-free public spaces are possible and healthier," says Anne Stauffer, HEAL Deputy Director.

New partners in this year’s Pesticides Alternatives Week include PAN Africa, Nature Parif, le Réseau des Etudiants Français pour le Développement Durable (REFEDD), and la Fondation Nature Vivante. During the Week, a prize will be awarded in the European Parliament for best practice in integrated farming, the competition is organised by PAN Europe and the European Beekeeping Coordination.

"We invite all of you who do not accept that intensive pesticide use is an inevitable destiny to join us in organising events during this Week," says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures. "The more numerous and united we are, the more we can demonstrate that viable alternatives are both possible and profitable. We must help put an end to the current agricultural model and replace it with "agro-ecology". That way, we won’t have to talk anymore about "victimes des pesticides" as we have to today."

For more information contact:

Anne Stauffer, Policy Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), email: anne@env-health.org Tel: +32 2 234 3643, Mobile: +32 473 711092

Diana Smith, Communications, Health and Environment Alliance, Tel: +33 1 55 25 25 84, Mobile: +33 6 33 04 2943. E-mail: diana@env-health.org

Malissa Phitthayaphone, Generations Futures, +33 1 45 79 07 59, Email: semainesanspesticide@free.fr

Last updated on 16 May 2011

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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