What is integrated defense

Integrated defense becomes absolute certainty

Member States should monitor the use of plant protection products containing active substances of particular concern and set the timescales and targets for reducing their use, particularly when it comes to an appropriate method to achieve risk reduction objectives. The sale of pesticides, including via the internet, is an important element in the distribution chain and is the time when it is necessary to provide end users, especially professionals, with specific advice regarding safety instructions for human health and the environment. For non-professional users, who generally do not have an equal level of training, recommendations should be made, in particular with regard to the safe handling and storage of pesticides as well as the disposal of packaging.

With the DIRECTIVE 2009/128 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 October 2009 which establishes a framework for community action for the sustainable use of pesticides as well as a series of regulations, community directives and national laws on phytosanitary matters, in addition to Inviolable higher constitutional law, which protects health (Article 32,), the healthy environment (Article 9), and the progress of agriculture in preserving the fertility of agricultural land (Article 44), regulating economic activity so that such rights are not violated (Art. 41), now more than ever, in anticipation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, the partial replacement of chemical products as they are not necessary for current agricultural production as they can be replaced with biological or "validly integrated" techniques even more efficient, for the application of which only the necessary technical assistance services independent of the interested parties are lacking i on the sale of synthetic chemicals.

In this regard, the European Community through the regional Rural Development Plans (RDP) compensates through agri-environmental payments all the lost income and higher costs, plus a 20% transaction to all farmers who undertake at least a five-year commitment in organic production which, therefore, it must be advantageous for agricultural producers who bring a direct and indirect social benefit to the health and environment of the communities. These rules have been in effect since 1992 and today enjoy enormous economic resources, with over 25 billion € for the Regional Rural Development Plans from 2007 to 2013, (of which less than 30% were spent in June) with obligation and priority for payments agri-environmental and if not spent properly in the next two years we will lose enormous resources for agriculture in our country or for organic farming. The deontological code of Agronomists, in activities that have repercussions on the health of consumers on the environment, requires the choice of the safest or most biological technical means, avoiding risks, especially when dealing with serious, established and current dangers, such as those deriving from synthetic chemical pesticides. , clearly set out in the directive on the sustainable use of crop protection products.

The professional agronomist in the phytoiatric field must not act for mere economic convenience with superficiality and approximation where there are dangerous repercussions for the environment and health for both farmers and consumers.

With the application of Directive 128/09, the national integrated production quality system will be easily identifiable by a brand that will certify the production method: consumers will therefore have an extra guarantee on the quality and safety of made in Italy fruit and vegetables. The integrated production system is based on the use of all means of production and defense of agricultural production from adversity, in full compliance with ecological, toxicological and economic principles. The integrated production brand therefore adds a new and important block to support the guarantee of Italian fruit and vegetable production, facing attempts at counterfeiting and providing the consumer with greater protection also in terms of health and food hygiene. It is necessary to realize that it is completely useless to increase the quantities of phytosanitary aids since the consumption of the same agricultural products such as wine, both fresh and sausage meats, cereals for the milling and pasta industry decreased at the same time.

The biological reconversion or the true integrated defense of agricultural holdings is fundamental and allows to reduce the complex of phytosanitary interventions necessary for the protection of crops and livestock by adopting agronomic techniques to reduce the spread and inoculation of plant diseases and harmful insects. For example, organic viticulture is also economically convenient and could lift the wine market which in Italy has dropped dramatically from about 100 liters / year (25-30 years ago) to 60 liters in 2000, currently falling to about 30 liters per capita. Today wine contains numerous chemical residues consisting mainly of antioxidants and bleaches and no longer taste and organoleptic characteristics

Furthermore, if we consider the aggravating multiplier effect of the damage to health of chemical residues from pesticides on a population already exposed to other forms of pollution, air and water and food, we realize that much of the waste and chemical abuse on agricultural and agro-industrial products it would be totally useless and harmful if more environmentally sustainable and economically compatible policies were coordinated.

Organic farming and food are essential protective factors of primary prevention for the populations of economically developed but still ecologically underdeveloped countries. Currently, at the community level, efforts are being made to work together on:

  1. RDP and new rural development lines: support to farms in the management of RDP applications in the various Italian Regions and discussion on new rural development policies post 2013;
  2. participation in the activities of the ISMEA / MiPAAF Rural Development Network;
  3. assessment of whether it is appropriate to support with legal actions and disputes against the degeneration of some RDPs to implement policies for services to members: certification, ad hoc financial packages for companies (Banca Etica). In particular, there would be a need for a streamlined system of advances on contributions, insurance and policies aimed at farmers.

And from 2014 there will be no more funds for integrated agriculture which becomes a minimum legal obligation due to the conditionality of the CAP.

But we risk losing billions of € if we do not use European funds correctly to support organic farming (Italy today has over € 25 billion available for the period 2007-2013).

Organic farming must also acquire a more marked and decisive role in Italy and this has been a law since 1992 with the launch of agro-environmental measures and has been a mandatory and priority information since 2000.

Since the organic must be supported by law with all the lost revenues, the higher costs, plus 20% from the European agri-environmental payments in mandatory and priority form, it is not clear why we must continue on the path of chemistry, especially since the current integrated agriculture Compared with the EU - ILO guidelines, it includes a list of allowed pesticides higher than the normal use in agriculture. Today, organic farming is not convenient for farmers because with the agro-environmental measures provided for by the CAP they can make use of synthetic chemical-based health devices and that is why with the 2014-2020 CAP reform it is necessary to create 2 distinct pillars not overlapping but parallel with close but different paths. such as to diversify the financing of agri-environmental measures that use integrated pest management intended as the use of health aids with low chemical inputs from measures on organic agriculture itself that uses only biological defense techniques without the use of health aids included in integrated pest management and therefore considered " at low chemical risk ".

However, we remind you that in the integrated production of crops the adoption of techniques with a lower environmental impact is contemplated, that is biological control and guided struggle, that is preventive and controlled or guided through the use of technical systems for the formulation and programming of predictive and defined models as well as a whole series of agronomic techniques with low environmental input that integrate with the aforementioned defense techniques.

In northern Europe they have reduced pesticides by over 60% and with them cancer, for at least 20 years while in Italy the pesticide market is continuously and dramatically increasing due to the incessant advertising campaign by the sector lobbies (Syngenta, Bayer, Agrofarma, Assofertilizzanti, etc) with unfortunate and imaginable consequences on the health of consumers of all ages.

The recent EC Directive 128/2009 on the sustainable use of agropharmaceuticals introduces important innovations in the defense sector that require a redevelopment of the national agricultural system through the adoption of particularly innovative solutions, united by respect for the principles underlying the integrated pest management. This will make it necessary to constantly adapt and update the guidance and assistance system, promptly introducing suitable scientifically validated and supported technical options.

As part of the initiatives aimed at this goal, the study days in Rome, promoted by the National Integrated Defense Group in concert with the Phytopathological Days and in collaboration with the Lazio Region, are proposed starting from the analysis of the current application possibilities of phytoiatric strategies with low environmental impact. , to provide a contribution to the improvement of the National Action Plan envisaged by the Directive, as well as to foster a synergy between the PAN itself and the Italian scientific community, with a view to activating the appropriate research / experimentation and transfer of innovations programs.

Now is the time to act and there is no more time.

By reducing the exogenous chemicals in food, we not only prevent the "free radical" effect due to various factors such as stress, pollution, smoke, alcohol, which is triggered within our body and between our cells and molecules, but we also "protect" active compounds such as polyphenols, terpenes, compostisulphurates which are naturally present in plant foods of our diet and which prevent the activation of substances that can induce carcinogenic phenomena, which inhibit the development of tumor neoplasms and which stimulate the body's immune defenses. The agricultural crops most treated with pesticides in order of quantities used and harmful to the ecosystem herbicides, insecticides, fungicides are fruit and vegetables including industrial ones, followed by cereals and all the productions used for zootechnical nutrition.

The beneficial nutritional properties of fruit and vegetables (antioxidant molecules) on our health must be safeguarded so that they can interact with the beneficial effects of our endogenous molecules (antioxidants endogenous to our body).

Excessive and incorrect use of synthetic chemical molecules on our food involves the direct risk of loss of healthiness and nutritional efficiency of the phytochemical compounds present in them and indirect negative interference on the molecules of the body with the possible formation of free radicals that cannot be easily controlled. Ultimately, therefore, within a couple of years, at European level, the Sustainable Use Directive will come into force, which further incentivizes the correct use of agropharmaceuticals.

The Directive also provides for the obligation for Member States to apply a national action plan: this is a great qualification opportunity for Italy's agricultural supply chain. Integrated production techniques have since long been adopted in Italy through coordination between regions and protocols based on individual programs and / or projects, but it is now necessary to close the circle and create a homogeneous, transparent and shared system.

Dr. Antonella Di Matteo

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