Munich throws a poisoned apple at Val Venosta
In a study, the Umweltinstitut München accuses producers in South Tyrol of uninterrupted use of banned pesticides
The one launched by the Umweltinstitut München, the environmental institute of Munich in Alto Adige, or even better in Val Venosta, is a sort of "poison apple". In fact, the Bavarian institute accuses apple producers in South Tyrol of having used pesticides, since 2017, "uninterruptedly for several months" and with "multiple exposure" of different products.
The Umweltinstitut analyzed the booklets of 681 fruit farms in Val Venosta, which operate on 3,124 hectares, more than half of the more than 5,000 hectares destined for apple orchards. The dossier consists of 97 pages. A single database, given that there is no transparency at European level on the use of pesticides, from which, according to the researchers, emerges "the use of extremely dangerous active ingredients, the uninterrupted use of pesticides for several months and the exposure multiple pesticides, the so-called cocktail effect".
The story was reconstructed from an article on fattoquotidiano.it. "From the beginning of March to the end of September, in Val Venosta - say the German researchers - there was not a single day of stoppage of spraying. In the 2017 growing season, each apple orchard was treated with active ingredients from synthesis on average 38 times”.
According to the researchers, out of a total of 83 active ingredients used, 17 were already on the official list of candidates to be banned by the EU in 2017. “In Val Venosta they represented 13% of all phytosanitary applications - say the scholars -. Etofenprox is one of the most frequently applied substances and was used by 89% of companies. The neonicotinoid Thiacloprid was used by 65% of them despite being potentially toxic to reproduction and possibly causing cancer; in fact, the use of this active ingredient is no longer permitted by the EU”.
In reality, this research, they say from South Tyrol, seems to be just a pique against the trial that ended last year in Bolzano with the acquittal of Karl Bär, at the time the contact person for agriculture at the Environmental Institute of Munich. Accused of defamation against South Tyrolean agriculture following the complaints presented by the provincial councilor Arnold Schuler and by a thousand operators in the sector, he had induced the Bolzano public prosecutor's office to seize the pesticide use data of the complainant farmers who, as evidence, had become available to the defence.
“First of all, it was agreed that we would discuss these data publicly with the Umweltinstitut, but unfortunately they did not respect the commitment - the councilor for agriculture of the Province of Bolzano, Arnold Schuler, underlines piquedly, contesting the study also on behalf of the producers -. Once again the impression is given that we do not respect the rules and use excessive quantities of plant protection products”.
“I know what progress the South Tyrolean fruit industry has made, which in over 40 years of integrated production has carefully used pesticides and looked for alternatives - adds Schuler -. In orchards we not only look at how many pests there are, but above all at how many beneficial insects there are and we favor them to minimize the use of pesticides".
"We continue to read that in South Tyrol large quantities of plant protection products are used per hectare, but this is a typical example of how you can communicate to put the South Tyrolean fruit industry in a bad light -continues the commissioner-. The quantity is relative , because what matters is which products are used". In Val Venosta the registers clearly show that of the insecticides used, 90% are certified organic and for fungicides it is 70%".
EFA News - European Food Agency