How one small town banned pesticides, preserved its food heritage, and inspired a movement, by Philip Ackerman-Leist
A book review by Allison Wilson, PhD, Science Director, The Bioscience Resource Project
The Tyrolean commercial apple industry had begun to expand into the mountain community of Mals, Italy. Two experimental orchards had already been planted to test which varieties best suited the area. More ominously, pesticide drift from its industrial apple farms had been detected at high levels in the area’s schoolyards and on the produce of organic farms. The citizens of Mals realized they needed to act fast if they wanted to pursue their vision of a diversified and sustainable local economy. The story of Mals and its subsequent historic referendum to ban all pesticides in the municipality, and therefore bar "Big Apple", is the perfect counterpoint to the unfolding drama of the Dicamba drift catastrophe in the U.S. midwest. Philip Ackerman-Leist’s important new book could not have come at a better time.
Mals stands out as a community that decided to create toxic-free food and agriculture systems through real democracy, democracy based on the active participation of citizens. Read the story of Mals to get inspired. And act. – Dr Vandana Shiva (Forward to "A Precautionary Tale")