The community must allow pesticides: The end of a minor miracle 2

The community must allow pesticides: The end of a minor miracle

The community must allow pesticides

When the small town of Mals in South Tyrol wanted to stop pesticides on its foundations, it caused unrest. But now the court has upheld the injunction.


Beautiful view of South Tyrol Photo: dapd

ROM Taz | The small village of Mals, located northwest of Bolzano in Val Venosta, boasts one of the sunniest places in South Tyrol. Until a few days ago, Mals was proud of another specialty: five years ago, the municipality decided to ban the use of pesticides throughout its territory. But it is over, because the Bozen Administrative Court overturned the local decision.

In September 2014, Mayor Ulrich Veith called on Malser for a referendum to decide if further plant toxins could be used in the fields. Three-quarters of the 4,800 voters participated and a staggering 75 percent voted in favor of the ban, which is set to take effect in 2018. Subsequently, only the use of biodegradable plant protection products is allowed. At that time he was saying "Male miracle".

But the miracle has not become a reality so far, 130 farmers have filed a lawsuit. The community then suspended the ban pending a court ruling. That has now fallen, and it declares the ban null and void, simply because the community is not responsible for this environmental issue – and is administered by the state.

However, the community has not yet been defeated. He wants to fight the Rome State Council – the highest administrative court in the country. Meanwhile, the prosecution at the Court of Auditors tried to hold Mayor Veith responsible – for allegedly misusing public funds for an allegedly violent referendum. The mayor should repay the 23,000 euros. But at least the Court of Auditors spoke freely with Veith.

Other communities continue against plant toxins

Nevertheless, other Italian municipalities are still trying to limit the use of plant toxins by various instruments. For example, the Vallarsa Municipal Council in Trentino passed a resolution in 2014 declaring organic farming a rule. Anyone who wants to travel conventionally must take out insurance to compensate neighboring organic farmers for polluting their fields with chemicals.

And Melpignano in southern Italy's Puglia secures land for the unemployed – but only if they commit to organic farming. Tuscany Carmignano, on the other hand, refrains from using pesticides on urban green spaces, prohibits the use of chemicals in residential areas, and generally prohibits the use of glyphosate. A total of 70 municipalities from South Tyrol to Sicily have embarked on a trip to Italy to at least limit the use of poison in agriculture by communal orders.