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Martin Boudot: “I claim committed journalism”

Journalist Martin Boudot, September 17, 2021 on franceinfo. (FRANCEINFO / RADIO FRANCE)

Journalist Martin Boudot signs three new documentaries for the season 2 of Vert de Rage, a series of investigations into the major environmental scandals in the world broadcast on Sunday evening on France 5.

In the first report, Cursed Fertilizers, we are talking about phosphate fertilizers, made in Morocco and used in agriculture, especially in Brittany. “We realized a few years ago that there was too much cadmium [un métal du groupe zinc considéré comme toxique et écotoxique] in soils in France, and we tried to understand why, explains Martin Boudot. It is a heavy, carcinogenic metal. Among the main suspects, there are phosphate fertilizers that contain it. The main phosphate mines are in Morocco. We have traced the whole chain, from Morocco to spreading in France. ” Dn each survey, there is a collaboration with science, specifies the journalist.

The concept of ‘Vert de rage’ is simple: they are investigative documentaries, in collaboration with scientists, on environmental issues.

Martin Boudot, journalist

to franceinfo

“We took the path of contamination, from the mines and factories that produce them. Cadmium is found in potatoes, and in the human body, inhabitants of Brittany have allowed us to test their urine. 21% d ‘between them exceed the critical cadmium concentration. “

The second subject, Coal in the lungs, takes us to Poland, more particularly to Silesia, where the coal factories are responsible for a very important air pollution.

We sometimes have the impression that air pollution, ‘Airmagedon’ is in China, while two hours from Paris, Poland, the levels of particles in the air are absolutely unbelievable, cities are sometimes more polluted than in China.

Martin Boudot

to franceinfo

“We were alerted by families in Poland, where ‘Vert de rage’ is broadcast. We set up an unprecedented scientific study. We worked with the public university of Belgium and for the first time we have an indicator of air pollution in the urine. Before we did not know how to do it. We took several Polish children and French children from Strasbourg and we compared their levels of ‘black carbon’, the tallow carbon that we find near barbecues. We have seen that Polish children have 425% more than French children “.

In his reports, we often see Martin Boudot in the image, helping out, for example, when taking samples from volunteers. “I don’t feel like I’m stepping out of my role, considers the journalist. I consider that the incarnation must be useful: I am seen taking samples for the sake of transparency. Moreover, I claim committed journalism, and not militant. Commitment means making scientific data available to citizens, who are free to do what they want with it. We are not activists because we are concerned about the contradictory, we will always face it and sometimes the activists exaggerate “.

There is also the question of the impact of these revelations. Are the other media taking it up, including in the countries concerned? And more importantly, are the policies getting hold of it?I wanted to change the way we tell our documentaries. Very often I was called afterwards and told: ‘And now what do we do? ‘ In this second season, we filmed the impact of the revelations of the scientific data that we had obtained, how the citizens took hold of it. The important thing is to see how the information makes its way. “

“On fertilizers and cadmium levels, there has been a concrete change: the government is committed to reducing the cadmium levels in phosphate fertilizers, a decree will be passed in December. I had access to the draft and I I can tell you that a priori, we are going in the right direction, we will be vigilant. In Poland things are changing very radically and not only thanks to us. The citizens that we have put forward are invited to the COP26. Some have access to the national media and especially Poland is committed to phasing out coal in 2035, the environment minister announced. I hope that we participated in the media pressure “.

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