Eu: obscurantism against food innovationBY PIETRO PAGANINI

HuffPost Italia features a commentary by Pietro Paganini discussing the attack on the Tea experimental rice field at the Cascina Erbatici farm in Mezzana Bigli, Pavia province. This event threatens scientific research, food security, and socio-economic stability in Italy and Europe. Paganini analyzes the impact of Europe’s dependence on foreign food raw materials and emphasizes the importance of science and agricultural innovation to ensure food independence and resilience.
Read the full article in Italian on HuffPost Italia or a brief summary below. 

The nighttime attack on the “RiS8imo” experimental rice field in Italy represents an act of cowardice that directly strikes at the pillars of scientific research and food security in Italy and Europe. The field was dedicated to developing advanced techniques for more effective and sustainable rice cultivation, and its destruction symbolizes a significant blow to the continent’s food and economic sovereignty. 

In a world where food security is closely intertwined with international politics, the ability to produce and trade food raw materials becomes a tool of power and political influence. Major producing countries use this tool to consolidate alliances, create dependencies, or exert political pressure, as exemplified by Russia. Europe, however, finds itself in a vulnerable position. Unlike agricultural powers like the USA, Canada, and Australia, the EU relies heavily on imports, a situation exacerbated by factors such as the climate crisis. This context has also influenced the political landscape, with growing support for ideological and populist movements on both the right and the left. 

The issue extends beyond grains and vegetable oils to specific European products like olive oil, whose traditionally strong production has recently declined due to climate adversities and competition from new producers like Tunisia and Turkey. This decline highlights Europe’s vulnerability even in sectors where it was previously considered strong.

Faced with these challenges, scientific research and technological innovation in the agricultural sector become crucial tools. Promoting them is essential not only for economic security but also for national security and social well-being. Confronted with global challenges and dependence on other countries for food, it is vital for Europe to strengthen its food resilience and self-sufficiency, supporting future stability and independence.


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