Kronacher baumarkte rely on glyphosate alternatives

Packaging looks the same as before. Green or yellow bottles with sprayer. Their names: "vorox, "weed-free and also "roundup. The very product made famous by the weedkiller glyphosate. "But even that is now available glyphosate-free", says peter witton (alliance 90/the greens).

The councillor and doctor from kronach, who has been involved in the fight against glyphosate for several years, tested three kronach stores to see if products containing glyphosate were still being sold. "I am basically satisfied, but I would like to see it abolished at baywa for private customers as well", is his conclusion.

Banned early at toom

At toom-baumarkt, witton was not found in the search for glyphosate. "We were the first DIY store in germany to withdraw all products containing glyphosate from sale as early as september 2015.", daria ezazi from corporate communications answers a question from our editorial team. Instead, the company, which is part of the rewe group, offers 16 alternative and environmentally friendly products.

Alternative crop protection

But toom not only offers alternative weed killers, it also advertises methods to make chemical agents completely superfluous. "Customers need to be made aware. There are good other methods, especially for small farmers", says ezazi.

This means that weeds can be easily removed when they are in the early stages of development. Mulching the soil also combats their growth. On paved surfaces, toom recommends the use of joint scrapers, high-pressure cleaners or flame removers.

Hagebaumarkt: new trend

Even in the hagebaumarkt there has been no glyphosate for several years now. "When the product fell into disrepute, we took it out of our range," says peter witton (bundnis 90/die grunen), reports store manager thomas stumpf. He also observes a decreasing demand for chemical agents. "That has turned out to be unbelievable. The trend is moving toward mechanical weed control." Weeders were bought for gouging rather than for killing.

The plant herbicides that hagebaumarkt still sells usually have belargonic or acetic acid as the basic substance. "Many customers want to buy glyphosate-free products. We DIY stores have adapted to this", says stumpf. But you can order anything on the internet, he criticizes: "we send our employees on training courses, and they take examinations in plant protection expertise. But it's all possible online. There is a legal contradiction."

Baywa is an agricultural market

The only market where peter witton could buy glyphosate products in kronach was baywa. Their press officer, maria crusius, prefaced the answer to our questions with an introduction. "The baywa site in kronach is not a DIY store and is therefore not geared primarily to the end consumer business, as is usual for DIY stores. Rather, the baywa business is a specialist agricultural store with a clear focus on agricultural customers."

In addition to selective herbicides that kill only individual plants, baywa also sells approved glyphosate-containing products for use in agriculture.

But not everyone can buy them indefinitely. "Baywa sells pesticides exclusively on the basis of legal regulations and in compliance with the legal framework conditions", crusius emphasizes. The basis for this is the 2012 amendment to the plant protection act.

Also of interest: timetable change – kronach district loses its long-desired school train

Private customers received glyphosate articles only with a home and small garden permit, which is usually tied to small packaging coarseness up to a maximum of one liter. Customers were also advised that they could apply the products only on cultivated land and only with the aid of a pump sprayer.

Anyone who wants to buy pesticides in bulk needs a certificate of expertise. Crusius: "farmers must be trained in accordance with the principles of good professional practice and regularly attend courses on the subject. This is a binding requirement for the purchase of crop protection products."

Glyphosate should only be used in a restricted way

In germany, individual products containing glyphosate are also approved for use in home and small gardens to combat weeds. However, these broad-spectrum herbicides may only be used on open land that is used for agriculture, forestry or horticulture.

Glyphosate is banned near water and on sealed surfaces such as paved roads or terraces without an exemption from the authorities. In rains it could wash away, get into water and chemically contaminate them. Who nevertheless sprays, it can cost up to 50000 euros.

The two camps are diametrically opposed in the glyphosate debate

The political debate about the weedkiller glyphosate is a discussion with two truths. At least that's the impression you get when you talk to people in both camps.

In the district, peter witton, councillor for the grunen district of kronach (see above), and erwin schwarz, district chairman of the bavarian farmers' association (BBV), are two protagonists in the discussion, in which scientific studies are strongly doubted in favor of the other side.

"It is questionable when something is simply spread around and everyone believes it", says erwin schwarz about concerns that glyphosate is harmful to health and the environment. "The risks are downplayed and denied by the flawed approval of studies", argues peter witton.

For the grunen city councilor, the cancer risk of glyphosate is the tip of the iceberg. The other damage to humans and animals, biodiversity, soil quality and water quality may be much worse, but is less important, says witton. For decades, a concrete clarification has been prevented. "It is simply not true that glyphosate is harmless."

Glyphosate advantages outweigh the disadvantages

Erwin schwarz sees things completely differently. It is true that the drug is only slightly toxic, but: "it is an environmentally friendly drug, only the target organism dies. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages", says the farmer who has a dairy farm with 180 cows in burggrub. "If everything that is a little bit harmful is no longer allowed, then no one will be allowed to drive a car; then there will be no more civilization."

Glyphosate is much better than anything that has been used before. It interrupts the green bridge, ensures that newly sown grain does not grow into old diseases. "If a doctor operates on a non-sterile table, the bacteria are also there."

Schwarz is convinced of its safety. "If it was that bad, nothing was going to grow and we didn't have intact soil life either." Although he believes that glyphosate will be banned in five years due to public pressure, he thinks this is wrong. To witton's argument that farmers should be paid more for their products so they don't need chemicals to increase yields, schwarz says, "a milchmadchen calculation. We have less and less land to get the yield out of."


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