Jean-Frédéric Poisson: “Macron issues decrees and our farmers die”

Nobody talked about it: on October 3 in Oise, Christophe Budin, a beet farmer, killed himself early in the morning. Farmers gathered a few days later to pay their respects to him: he had the right to write an article in the local newspaper, but his death did not make much of an impact. However, this sad incident is far from an isolated incident and reflects a more global phenomenon in the world of agriculture. Although some commentators note the explosion of suicides in this profession, they rarely point to the root causes. But as long as we ignore the real reasons that drive men to take their own lives, we will continue to watch the carnage never stop. This is not the role of politicians and it is vital that our rulers, MPs, local officials, journalists, lobbies and unions finally face this problem and put an end to it. Unfortunately, Emmanuel Macron’s current policy only worsens the living conditions of farmers.

Christoph Budi’s work is symbolic. Two days before he died, he received a subpoena from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB), which inspected him. The victim knew that he would not be given any gifts when facing the charges and that, unlike many defendants in France, he would not be entitled to the presumption of innocence. This is the reason why trade unions and professionals (FDSEA) paid tribute to him in front of OFB’s Beauvais offices. It should be recalled that OFB was established in 2021 after the government decree expanding the jurisdiction of a number of courts related to environmental damage. Although farmer suicides were already “systematic” at the time, Macron’s government therefore exacerbated the problem by creating pharmacies in charge of “policing” biodiversity. Farmers today face three new problems in addition to existing problems.

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First, environmental regulations became so restrictive that it became impossible to live without violating them. They often face technical impasses and know that no matter what they do, OFB inspectors will always be able to find elements that do not comply with these rules. “vague and vague”. It is even more unfair that it does not apply to agricultural products imported from abroad: these are the famous mirror provisions that France applies to its own farmers and should: at least, to apply to foreign products. But outside of these provisions, a sector that feeds us and is already under severe strain should not be subjected to this constant policing; especially if it leads our compatriots to end their lives. No regulation is worth the cost.

The second problem is related to the punishments imposed by this “environmental police” based on very harsh and sometimes actually false elements. A textbook case that emerged from the research of Geraldine Woessner (Point, April 22) reports on a Grenoble farmer accused of killing bees by spraying blooming apple trees with pesticides. But it actually contains this substanceesfenvalerate authorized and recognized not to cause death of bees, despite controlled use. Since the experts did not go to the plot, they could not see the death of these insects, and the neighboring beekeepers did not see any problems in their hives. Many details of the case are confusing, but in the end, the prosecutor will ask for a fine of no less than 100,000 euros and a suspended sentence of 6 months for the supposed death of the bees. The apple grower will finally be fined 10,000 euros for himself and 40,000 euros for his company. He will not dare to appeal for fear that he will receive a more severe sentence after the prosecutor’s indictment, which he admits he wants. “give an example”. When it comes to such extremes, who dares to speak of justice?

“France must not become a new ‘Soviet Union’ that hunts its opponents to the death, even if this oppression is carried out in the name of the planet.”

Jean-Frédéric Poisson

The third problem, which is perhaps the main problem, concerns the people who make up these offices responsible for the implementation of environmental policy. Indeed, it is common for members of these jurisdictions to be driven by political ideas for which environmentalism is nothing more than a pretext. In this new framework, the defense of the planet is indeed being used to give a second wind to a Marxism in search of a new social class to condemn and martyr. At his disposal are political activists disguised as inspectors, whom the farmers have since designated among themselves as “eco-Marxist cowboys.” These inspectors use and abuse their authority by torturing farmers who are forced to give anonymous statements for fear of reprisals by OFB agents. France must not become a new “Soviet Union” that hunts its opponents to death, even if this oppression is carried out in the name of the planet. It is urgent that Emmanuel Macron revokes his decree of March 16, 2021 and defends the welfare of our farmers who cannot feed ourselves in the crisis looming on the horizon.

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