The EU has prohibited the use of three pesticides, which are harmful for bees.
These substances are known to be harmful; after a monitoring in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority – EFSA, has published a very clear report. During the monitoring, several experts have been called for a comparison of the scientific evidence, resulted from their studies. From 2015 until now, the EFSA has been comparing 588 scientific publications, seeking for any evidence of pesticides on wild bees, honey bees and solitary bees. It has found them.
Based also on such evidence, the EU has decided to prohibit the use of three pesticides in open field: imidacloprid and clothianidin, produced by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, produced by Syngenta. The so called neonicotinoids can be used only in greenhouses and indoors, because they are considered responsible for the deaths of bees, which are indispensable to guarantee biodiversity and maintain a balanced ecosystem of which people are part.
Italy has voted to ban these three toxic chemicals, together with France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta.
Eight countries abstained (Poland, Belgium, Slovakia, Finland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia and Lithuania) and four opposed: Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Denmark.
However, in Italy there is a free area: it is the Puglia Region, more precisely the South of Puglia, from Fasano (in the province of Brindisi) to the end of the Cape of Santa Maria di Leuca.
In that area it will be possible to use at least one of the three pesticides, banned from EU.
Actually, it must be used.
On the 13 of March 2018, the Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina, has issued a Decree (published in the OJ on 6 April 2018) which forces farmers to use pesticides on their fields for 4 times until the end of the year (among these insecticides there is the lethal imidacloprid, produced by Bayer).
The “National emergency plan for xylella fastidiosa management in Italy” has been attached to the Decree.
“There is no xylella emergency in Italy”. This statement deserves itself a charge for procured alarm. Emergency is something that happens, then is solved and filed.
The commissioner for the emergency of the State Forestry Corps, Giuseppe Silletti, declared the emergency in 2015, with extraordinary powers and measures,put under investigation by the Lecce Prosecutor’s Office and there stayed.
So, the emergency does not exist, but the “National emergency plan” is functional to use the spectre of the spittlebug and to stuff of newspaper headlines.
It is also functional according to Emiliano, who asks the Government for special measures in order to force farmers to uproot trees and use poisons.
In short, Emiliano likes the emergency and asks for it according with the Law, not only because it is written in the Marletti Decree, pardon, Martina Decree.
Emergency means money and extra powers. Possibly, if it comes a commissioner or another scapegoat to play buck-passing with.
The Martina Decree provides for several substances useful to kill spittlebug, forgetting that insecticides kill everything, not only what Martina and Emiliano want.
Among the insecticides there is also orange oil, used for biological agriculture; farmers had to face hard legal battles in order to use such insecticide (but this is another story).
But for the imidacloprid produced by Bayer, no problem. It has been included in the list of pesticides to be used “by default”, together with acetamiprid and dimethoate. According to EFSA, imidacloprid and acetamiprid have harmful effects on fetuses neurological system, which forms in the firsts three months of pregnancy, while dimethoate is carcinogenic to humans. Other chemical substances imposed by Martina Decree, such as brufezin, a fungicide, are highly toxic for the environment, to animal and humans.
The dimethoate is the notorious “Rogor”, sold to farmers of the Salento area as “the medicine”; it kills not only bees, but also other insects and has harmful effects proven by several scientific researches.
But for the poor farmers, especially the ones who trust the word of mouth of the sellers of fertilizers from their village, that is “the medicine” that they use in good faith to kill insects.
Considering that the area of Fasano (Brindisi) to Santa Maria di Leuca covers 700 thousand hectares, we will need 402 million liters of carcinogenic insecticides in order to cover the entire area.
So, in order to solve a presumed emergency, Martina has created another emergency, which is real and clear: an environmental disaster for humans and nature.
The Minister has chosen the name “Emergency plan” for his Decree, but he does not explain why there should be an emergency: no data, no statistics, only scientific literature dating back to 30 years ago.
Moreover, in order to extirpate a disease of which we know the symptoms, i.e. drying, it has been pointed out only one cause and it has been suggested only one treatment, based on the old European Directive 289/2015, approved according to declarations come to Puglia Region from the Ministry of Environment: uprooting of the trees, as they were branches and not monuments of millennial culture and identity. It has been imposed the desertification of all territory within a radius of 100 meters around plants infested by xylella. That is, for a plant or a bush infected, 3 hectares of land around this plant must be burnt.
Several areas in Europe, Spain and France have been pointed out as infected, showing a vision of a suicide.
If the bug is everywhere, killing everyone it is not the solution.