OPINION

The poison on our dinner tables

Recent claims by the Federation of Agronomists’ Associations concerning the high levels of illegal pesticides being used in the countryside’s agricultural industry prove that the healthy diet being promoted by Greek doctors is extremely unhealthy indeed. The fact that various con men have taken advantage of the loopholes in the deregulation of pesticide imports from European Union countries and are instead bringing chemicals into the country from China, Turkey and other non-EU countries, reveals that Greece is in serious trouble on two different fronts. First of all, there is the criminal profiteering of farmers who do not hesitate to spray their crops with hazardous chemicals or to sell them on to their countrymen for consumption. Then there is also the criminal negligence of the state mechanism to firmly control what is being brought into the country. On the one hand, the weaknesses in the importing process should never have arisen in the first place, and, on the other, once identified, they should have been remedied. Unfortunately, Greek citizens feel they have very little protection on any front. While in the past there may not have been a state apparatus large enough to, hypothetically at least, control everything, there was an understanding between farmers and consumers ensuring the quality of the former’s wares. When this «contract» between the two stopped being in effect, it was up to the state to step in. It is clear that it has failed to do so and now the public’s health has been put at risk. The state authorities must try harder. They must constantly monitor and control everything that is being imported into Greece. That is, after all, what our taxes are for. The fact that opportunists can get away with »just doing their jobs» means that the guardians of the country are not doing theirs.