European Consumers, an Italian association, welcomes the Workshop in Goiás (GO) about “Pesticides, Social and Environmental impacts and Human Rights”. Our support is based on the belief that the ‘Green Revolution’ is getting more and more aggressive even in Europe, the last bastion against pesticides and GM technology in agriculture. One of the most astonishing evidences is given by the case of the olive trees’ dessiccation in Salento, South of Italy and the solution offered by the Governments during the last 5 years: the clean cut of the trees and the compulsory use of pesticides and erbicides wherever, even in the private gardens.
The Decree n 4999, 13/02/2018 is about “Misure di emergenza per la prevenzione, il controllo e l’eradicazione di Xylella fastidiosa (Well et all) nel territorio della Repubblica italiana”. Published in april the 6th, 2018 on the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana n. 80, (Decreto Martina), it hasn’t been modified even by the last government. The Decree indicates the compulsory use of neonecotinoids on the whole territories covered by the the bacterial disease. Neonecotinoids have been banned by the UE because they harm bees and hives. But these substances generate neurodegenerative diseases. Actually the Decree has to be applied only in the Apulia region but it is referred to the whole national territory.
The story starts in 2008 with the introduction of a little grapevine plant infected with Xylella fastidiosa from South America and for scientific purposes: a workshop organized by IAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute on: “Diagnostic and statuory aspect of Xylella Fastidiosa, its vectors and the diseases it is causing”. IAM is a public scientific institution which enjoys immunity from any form of prosecution and investigation: the only case in the scientific italian landscape.
Xf is a bacterial pathogen never observed before in Europe. The characteristics of Xf responds to the bio warfare weapons because of the economic damage which can cause to an agriculture based economy even at a national level. The pathogen was completely sequenced in Brazil during the last 90s. The knowledge of a living being’s gene-sequence allows to modify its characteristics.
The infectious disease of the olive trees is declared in 2013: the same year in which Monsanto and Basf finish some experimental camps in Lecce, Brindisi and Bari among olive groves. The experimental project, called GiPP, Gestione infestanti Piante Perenni (Perennial Plant’s weed Management) has been carried out from 2010 to 2013 making a large use of glyphosate (Round Up Platinum). Actually groundwater is severely contaminated with glyphosate and the ground of the most endangered areas has nutrients’ levels lower than the desert’s ones so, even centuries-old olive trees, get sicks easily.
After the Xf sequencing project, was created a corporation called Allelyx (Xylella anagram but the name also contains the word ‘allele’). Allelyx has been bought by Monsanto in 2008 and is vocated to genic manipulation and biofuel. Today has been proposed XF/17, a new selected species, Xf-resistent and equipped with a chip, to be substituted to the olive trees variety, a serious damage to the local germplasm.
It is important to spread an agroecologic culture and stop any drift focused on technologies which have already showed their process of decay for economy and public health.
About the Apulia region and the olive trees
60 millions of olive trees in the whole Apulia region, 14/15 trees in every citizen. 500 thousand are centuries-old trees. Olive trees are protected by a Regional Law n.14, 4.6.2007 (BUR Puglia n.83 do 7.6.2007) and the older Law n.144, 14 february 1951. These laws recognize the social, cultural and economic value of the olive trees.
The Apulia region produces 37% of the national olive oil production and the 12% of the world production. So olive oil is one of the most important economic resource not only for the region but for Italy.
In 2014 only in the Apulia region the olive oil production was 1/3 lower than 2013. In 2017 -11%; in 2018, -58% in the Apulia region and -38% in Italy.
Italy is the 2nd producer, the 1st importer, the 2nd exporter of olive oil in the world.
More than 10 thousand people working in this sector. Economic value: 2,5 billions of euros.
40% of the world’s best labels are italian (46 products). Follow Spain and Greece with 29 each.
The production in the Apulia Region, 206 thousand Tons of olive oil last year, this year 86 thousand tons: 47% of the national production. Many farmer are going to abadon the countryside: if the first economic sector in the south of Italy fails, the south of Italy fails.