The Walloon Minister of Health Maxime Prévot contracted a new scientific study for responding to fears of part of the population of Fernelmont (Province of Namur). This group is apprehensive regarding the existence of a link between the use of agricultural pesticides and cases of cancer which occurred in a neighbourhood of Cortil-Wodon, announced the minister Tuesday at a commission of the Walloon Parliament.
A first report established by the Walloon administration (the new agency for quality of life, AViQ) established that there was no considerable difference between the rates of cancer in the 2004-2013 period between Fernelmont and Wallonia.
But this document, considered “reassuring” by Mr. Prévot, was questioned by local medical doctors and its methodology was criticized by a researcher of Centre wallon de recherches agronomiques de Gembloux (CRAW). “There are questions,” stated the CdH minister; he however cautioned against any irrationality. “I will commission a new study, even though it may be once again questioned,” he announced to the deputies who presented questions to him (Hélène Ryckmans of Ecolo, Christie Morreale of PS, Laurent Henquet of MR).
This study will be carried out by a committee of experts made up of professors from three universities in the fields of epidemiology, oncology and toxicology. The committee will determine the necessary timeline.