Limit glyphosate in water
SonntagsBlick: The Minister for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Simonetta Sommaruga wants to maintain the legal limit of 0.1 micrograms of glyphosate per liter of drinking water. His ministry has confirmed that there will be no increase for this pesticide, writes the SonntagsBlick. This maximum value also applies to other pesticides. In principle, no substance present in drinking water can exceed this threshold. The rules for ten other substances should also be tightened, says SonntagsBlick. DETEC declined to comment further. In doing so, however, the Socialist Federal Councilor took the opposite view from the Christian Democrat Doris Leuthard, who had preceded her at the head of the department and who wished to raise the threshold for glyphosate in particular.
Doctors rewarded if they used a product
SonntagsBlick: The US medical technology company Nevro promised Swiss doctors certain reimbursements if they successfully used its products on their patients. The SonntagsBlick which reveals the affair is based on a contract which it was able to obtain. According to the document, the company active in the treatment of chronic pain has paid Swiss doctors 10,000 francs in compensation for each Nevro implant placed under the skin of patients. Thus, whoever places 800,000 francs of stimulators of this brand on the back of a patient receives 160,000 francs in exchange. In other words, he is rewarded for choosing the most expensive procedure. The implant is generally transplanted on an outpatient basis and billed according to the Tarmed tariff. This exchange of good practices would now be completed. When contacted by the German-language newspaper, the company said it had tightened discount guidelines last year. Consequently, some contracts in Switzerland have been adapted to meet the new standards of the firm.
Mysterious Russian spy arrested in Switzerland
SZ: Switzerland arrested a Russian agent on its territory and convicted him of spying in January. Unknown until now, the case remains mysterious even after the conviction, writes the SonntagsZeitung which has carried out an investigation. The agent reportedly crossed Switzerland last summer aboard a Range Rover, carrying a drone and six cell phones. Its mission was to prosecute Russian dissidents or oligarchs who fell out of favor. Owing to “overriding interests in the maintenance of secrecy”, the public prosecutor of the Confederation has blackened numerous passages of the criminal ordinance. Even the nationality of the sentenced person and the name of the secret service he allegedly worked for were deleted. The newspaper’s research showed that the convicted man was a Russian working for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). He was sentenced to six months in prison, but has reportedly already been released, his preventive detention having been counted in the sentence.
QoQa raises funds to fight cancer
Morning Sunday: The Geneva-based foundation Cansearch, which conducts research against childhood cancer, and the online sales platform QoQa are joining forces to raise funds to finance a year-long study on the subject, writes Le Matin Dimanche. It wants to collect DNA from former patients, analyze the genetic material and clinical data of each of them to find out if genes increase the sequelae linked to certain treatments. “We want to improve the years of healthy survival of patients who still have a long life ahead of them,” argues Nicolas Waespe, pediatric oncologist, who performs the research, as a doctoral student at the universities of Geneva and Bern. Cansearch regrets that less than 2% of the budgets allocated to oncological research go to minors. Internet users can make their donation this Sunday between noon and midnight on Qoqa.ch.
Rats invade our cities
Morning Sunday: They run, they run, city rats. The rat exterminators have noted a clear increase in the number of rodents in the sewers and pipes of our cities. “Since November, we have been working almost every day against rodents,” explains Thomas Iseli, rat exterminator at Insekta in Brüttisellen (ZH) in the pages of Le Matin Dimanche. The same is true of Desinfecta in Deisswil (BE), which has around 100 intervention centers in the country. French-speaking cities are not spared from the phenomenon. This proliferation could be due to global warming, experts note.