Beware. French winegrower death linked to pesticides

on 24/01/11 at 9:08 am

Wine

A French winegrower, who died after contracting leukaemia becoming the first farmer to have his illness officially linked to the pesticides he used for years on his crops, has spoken from beyond the grave giving a warning to the industry. ´╗┐

Yannick Chenet, 43, had cultivated vineyards and other crops for decades at his farm in Ruffec, in the Poitou-Charentes region of southwestern France.

His death has served to highlight the dangers of working on the vineyards.

He is among 40 or so farmers in France whose illnesses have now been officially linked to their profession and the pesticides they have sprayed on the land by the French agricultural public health body.

Speaking shortly before his death, Mr Chenet said: “When I got the hospital I saw the same company whose name was on the pill box (as the one that made the farming products). I said: ‘It can’t be true; the same group that poisoned me is now treating me.”

Paul Fran├žois, 47, a farmer and Mr Chenet’s close friend also suffers from severe health problems recognised as being linked to the products he used.

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