Saturday 15 May 2021
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Syngenta warns Swiss voters against pesticide ban

The Swiss / Chinese chemical company Syngenta has warned the Swiss population of the consequences of a ban on the use of pesticides in agriculture. According to CEO Eric Fyrwald, the Swiss will have to import more food if they grow less themselves due to a lack of growth promoters.

The Syngenta boss commented on the two referendums “For clean drinking water and healthy food” and “For a Switzerland without synthetic pesticides”, to be voted on June 13 in Switzerland. He says he understands the need for a clean environment and acknowledges the "existential threat" of climate change.

A "yes" to the ballot box would only lead to much more food being imported into Switzerland. “If you remove pesticides from farmers, food production will drop by at least 40 percent,” Fyrwald warned. He doesn't see his company as the root of the problem, but as a potential problem solver.

The Swiss Syngenta AG was listed on the Swiss stock exchange until 2017 until it was acquired by the Chinese Chemchina. The group is now considerably larger since the merger with the Israeli Adama and with the agricultural companies of Sinochem. The goal remains to become a listed company again by mid-2022.

“We are making good progress to be ready for a return to the stock market,” Fyrwald said in an interview with AWP news agency on Thursday. “It is going in the right direction,” he said. At the exchange, Syngenta had previously announced strong growth of 20 percent for the first quarter of 2021 in mid-2022.

The American / Norwegian Fyrwald was appointed head of the agricultural group Syngenta five years ago and has since been regarded as one of the most powerful agro managers in the world. He warns the Swiss of the consequences of adopting the two agricultural initiatives.

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