Today some EU officials met in an official hearing the stakeholders (associations of entrepreneurs and active citizens), gathering their opinion on the strategy of containment of the bacterium “Xylella fastidiosa” in Puglia.As you know, “Xylella report” has been invited: it was the only participating news organization.We published the invitation through which we have been summoned, and extended it to everyone. Some associations, such as the “Coordination against environmental devastation”, took up the invitation, asking and obtaining access to the hearing.This helped widening the parterre of interlocutors as much as possible, so that EU officials could gather a wide range of opinions. A group of representatives of the Task force of scientists set up by Regione Puglia was not there, because uninvited.Since the task force has not been meeting for over a year, we do not know its opinion on the recent Martina decree and on the requests of Michele Emiliano, president of Regione Puglia, for issuing a “very fast decree” that would allow him to bypass the environmental and hydrogeological restrictions and the olive trees protection rules, in order to eradicate them, even without serving the owners of the trees with a notice.For “Xylella report” there was Giorgio Doveri, a pharmaceutical chemist, already involved with “Xylella report” in fundraising to finance past appeals before the European Court of Justice. Here is his full speech. MLM
My name is Giorgio Doveri, I am a pharmaceutical chemist. I follow this problem from about 4 years.
I’m not an ecologist and I’m not a denier. It is clear that there is a phytosanitary problem.
I believe that the standards of approach of the European community to fight a quarantine microorganism are necessary and almost correct. But unfortunately they are not correct for the situation of our Apulian territory.
Our government has imposed the obligatory use of pesticides to kill the vector of the bacterium Xylella.
The use of pesticides is not illogical and is correct in many situations, but it does not contemplate the cumulative parameter. And also EFSA didn’t that.
Many many many tons of pesticides, because Puglia is a giant forest of olive trees.
There are not scientific publications that indicate how much this amount affects the nature and the human health. An environmental impact study is now obligatory in my opinion, because I believe that in our specific apulian context in which the operation must be applied on millions of trees, a study on the cumulative parameter is fundamental. Without it we cannot proceed. Unfortunately we don’t need a big mind to understand how disastrous can be the use of this quantity of chemical products.
I know very well that there is a sanitary deseas, of course, so the right therapy approach is necessary.
On a public document from our ministry was written that, to understand the causes of the desease of the Olive trees, all kinds of studies have been done on the territory. In this public document the following sentence has been declared: “After excluding any form of pollution on the earth and on all the territory” … and so on…
Now, We need these analysis, because every independent scientist and expert of Puglia declares and knows very well that Salento and Puglia are very, very polluted. In the air, in the earth and in the water.
A false declaration in a public document is a serious problem.
The procedure for eradicating host plants within a 100-meter radius around the infected plant also has its own theoretical and practical logic in many cases. But not, unfortunely, in our specific case: the motivation of these eradications stems from the fact that the vector does not fly beyond one hundred meters.
There are 2 fundamental and scientific problems:
1. The vector perhaps does not fly beyond a hundred meters, but with the wind, or with a car, or on a dress, it can exceed many km. If we eradicate the approximately 300 trees in each hectare and the vector has gone beyond 100 meters, we have unnecessarily eradicated 300 trees, and so on from the deep south of Puglia to the deep north of Puglia. In fact, the past eradications have not served any purpose. Now, after some years, we can see that result.
2. The principle of eradication can be applied on a wineyard, on other types of host plants, but not by us: in Puglia there are 65000000 of olive trees. The olive tree is not a plant, it is a big tree. With this procedure we risk to create a desert. And if after all these eradications one day we find a single tree positive to the bacterium an the north of Puglia? An environmental disaster will be obtained without any positive result.
The problem is there, of course, and it concerns about 1.8% of the trees in all Puglia.
But there are comforting news, now: and these news are reality and true facts, not words: those who are taking care of the trees in the last 2-3 years, nurturing and pruning them and curing them, they are getting excellent results and the trees are healing. We are available to take you to visit this wonderful and scientific reality.
I conclude with a metaphor that in my opinion perfectly represents the problem and its right solution: if you do not brush your teeth for a year, eat chocolate and smoke 40 cigarettes a day, after a year you get 3 caries. If you go to the analysis you will find 3 caries and a population of bacteria. The question is: What is the cause of your caries? The bacterium or maltreatment of your oral hygiene?
But above all, what is the cure for those teeth and for the mouth? Even a 6 year old child understands that the cure is 3 fillings to clean the teeth from bacteria, and to immediately start a good oral hygiene to strengthen the teeth, or the olive trees, because the bacterium is life and it lives where the body is weak
This simple metaphor puts us before an epochal scientific question that can allow us to choose whether to develop a higher mind and common sense, or to choose to kill the noble art of a science capable of making a correct diagnosis and above all capable of apply the right therapy.
My questions are two:
1. Does the European Community imposes the use of pesticides on an area of 65.000.000 olive trees?
2. Are you sure that the obligation to eradicate the olive trees within 100 meters around the infected tree is the right solution in a territory with a forest of 65.000.000 olive trees?