Puglia olive growers vs. EU

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The outbreak of the killer bacteria Xylella fastidiosa that has afflicted millions of olive trees in Puglia has been making news since early 2014. Now, a group of olive growers in the Province of Lecce plan to take legal action against the European Union (EU) over measures being tried to contain the outbreak ‒ measures the farmers contend are transforming their groves into “open-air cemeteries,” International Business Times reports.

At the heart of the threatened legal action is the contention by the growers association, La Voce dell’Ulivo (The Voice of the Olive Tree) that the measures being taken by the EU are not based on science. Rather, the growers claim, the measures are jeopardizing an ancient industry ‒ one that plays a significant role in Puglia’s tourism.

Given that its ancient olive groves are among Puglia’s most notable visitor attractions, it’s worrisome when one of the growers warns that “entire areas are at risk of turning into desert land.”

Read more about the issue here.

Photo courtesy of La Voce dell’Ulivo

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