The Italian job: Farmers facing pests pay dearly for Europe’s anti-GM stance
Published 26 September
Nowhere is the art of bureaucratic obfuscation practiced with greater enthusiasm and single-minded efficiency than in Europe. And nowhere is this more in evidence than in Europe’s battle against technological progress in farming.
Our story begins in sunny Italy where highly nutritious corn (maize) has been produced since the day this bountiful crop was first imported from the New World almost a half-millennium ago. Corn provides a lucrative export to countries with less temperate climates that cannot grow it. When it comes to staple crops, corn has been as important to the Italian agricultural economy as potatoes are to Ireland and Idaho. Or at least it was, until a few years ago.