HomeSafetyVeneto. The Mothers No PFAS publish the list of contaminated foods

Veneto. The Mothers No PFAS publish the list of contaminated foods

Mothers NO PFAS and Greenpeace have made public the large list of foods contaminated by dangerous PFAS, in Veneto. (1)

Thousands of analyzes - conducted by the ARPA and the ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) in 2016/2017 - had been concealed by the Veneto Region, therefore sentenced to the TAR. (2)

The interventions of the Minister of Ecological Transition are now awaited, to guarantee an effective and complex environmental remediation, and of the criminal justice system. #VanghePulite, or rather Nuremberg.

La praivasi of the siór Zaia

Greenpeace had asked the Veneto Region for access to information on the impact on the food chain of the ecocide caused by the Miteni chemical industry in 40 years of spillage of PFAS and other toxic chemicals. In the aquifers that serve to feed over 400 humans, livestock, irrigation of fields and food processing.

Il siór Zaia however, he had campaigned on the pràivasi theorem (privacy) of farmers, to deny the request for access to theFood sampling plan for the search for perfluoroalkyl substances'created by the ISS upon delegation of the Veneto Region, in 2016-2017. In spite of the environmental information rights established in the EU, including Italy. (3)

Environmental information, the right of access

Environmental information to which citizens have the right to access extend to:

- 'the state of human health and safety, including contamination of the food chain, the conditions of human life’,

- 'measures, including administrative ones, such as policies, legislative provisions, plans, programs, environmental agreements and any other act, including administrative ones, as well as activities that affect or may affect the elements and factors of the environment'(Legislative Decree 195/05, article 2.1.a, points 6 and 3).

TAR Veneto, the sentence to siór Zaia

The public authority 'makes available (…) the environmental information held to anyone who requests it, without the latter having to declare their own
interest'. Complying with you 'as soon as possible and, in any case, within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request'. 60 days, only in cases of particular size and complexity (Legislative Decree 195/05, article 3).

The Veneto Regional Administrative Court he thus condemned the yesor Luca Zaia to reply to the request for access to the documents, within 60 days of the publication of the judgment 25.3.21. (2) That is, show not only the aggregate data on contamination, but also the details on the number of samples, the geolocation of the points and / or farms and food processing companies where they were collected, the levels of contamination.

Mothers NO PFAS, Greenpeace. The data of the disaster and the omissions of the Veneto Region

NO PFAS and Greenpeace mothers they published a joint document, on 20.9.21 (4,5,6). To take stock of the disaster and denounce the serious omissions of the Veneto Region in the management of a crisis affecting food safety, the environment and public health.

The ISS report from 'Dietary exposure assessment and risk characterization'(2019), it is noted in advance, refers to the execution of analyzes on 1.248 foods (614 of vegetable origin and 634 of animal origin).

The Veneto Region however, it provided a smaller number of data, the two associations reveal. Following are the first notes, with the addition in purple of further reflections by the writer.

1) Food contaminated by PFAS

Contamination of food has reached very high levels. The partial data available indicate the following peaks:

  • 37.100 ng / kg of PFAS in eggs, 400-36.800 meat (from bovine muscle, pig liver), 18.600 fish (carp),
  • 3.500 ng / kg apricots, 2.900 wine grapes, 2.700 cherries, 2.600 pears,
  • 2.600 ng / kg for green beans, 1.900 for corn, 1.300 for lettuce, 800 peas and tomatoes.

The ULSS in charge of sampling (ULSS 8 Berica, ULSS 6 Euganea and ULSS 9 Scaligera), however, failed to collect samples of the food matrices of major productive importance. Why were the analyzes omitted on spinach, radicchio, kiwi, melons, watermelons, wheat, soy, apples, other broadleaf vegetables? Who gave the order to exclude these productions from the analyzes?

2) Analytical deficiencies

Analyzes they failed to identify and measure the presence of single toxic molecules other than PFOA and PFOS. Although the scientific literature reports the toxicity of numerous other compounds, in the broad PFAS family.

EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, has in turn considered the molecules PFNA and PFHxS, in addition to the two above, to define an overall tolerable weekly dose (Tolerable weekly intake, TWI) of 4,4 ng / kg body weight. (7)

3) Failure to manage risk

The Veneto Region - the first person in charge of risk management that occurred in their territories, in the figures of its president Luca Zaia and the director of Prevention, Food Safety, Veterinary Francesca Russo - appears to have omitted:

- notify in the European alert system (Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed, RASFF), through the ministerial contact point, the serious risks identified, (8)

- undertake corrective actions to protect food safety. First of all, the public recall of all foods potentially at risk and the suspension of the activities involved until they are made safe, (9)

- analyze other food matrices, including those produced in the so-called orange zone (i.e. at the edge of the red zone, the epicenter of the environmental disaster),

- adopt the necessary measures to safeguard public health with respect to the identified risks. Therefore declare a state of emergency, in order to guarantee immediate recovery of the damages, pending the trial of the first responsible for the environmental disaster,

- evaluate, also with the support of ISS, the greater risks of dietary exposure to PFAS for the local population already subject to chronic environmental exposure. (10)

4) Omission of follow-up of the crisis

Diffusion and severity extraordinary events of the food safety crisis, in 22 of the 26 municipalities where the samples were taken, should have led to an extension of the investigation over a wider area. And above all, to continue the analyzes that instead were interrupted in 2017, as if everything had gone well rather than very badly.

'Added to this is the absence of decisive actions aimed at eliminating pollution and reducing, at least progressively, the contamination of water not intended for drinking purposes'. (4)

Does the polluter pay?

The Miteni trial - for the crimes of water poisoning, willful disaster, environmental pollution and fraudulent bankruptcy - began on 1.7.21, at the Court of Assizes of Vicenza. Eight years after the facts were ascertained, in May 2013, when the Ministry of the Environment sent the Veneto Region a report on the environmental disaster, prepared by the CNR.

The accused are 15, including Japanese managers of Mitsubishi Corporation and the Luxembourgers of International Chemical Investors (which has controlled Miteni since 2009). The disaster probably began at the time when the chemical industry was started, under the name Rimar, by the Marzotto group. And it continued under Mitsubishi-Enichem management, from 1998 to 2009, even before the entry of investors from Luxembourg.

A reform of environmental crimes however, it is indispensable, for the dual purpose of excluding their prescription and extending to them any measure already established in Italy for mafia-type association crimes. Only in this way will it be possible to guarantee the premise of the 'polluter pays' principle - crystallized in European law (12) - which in Veneto is also important due to the consumption of agrochemical products 12 times higher than the EU average. (13)

Environmental remediation, #VanghePulite

The Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani is perhaps the only one today who can guarantee the research, development and implementation of an adequate environmental remediation program. Given the severity and extent of the pollution from toxic chemicals which are known as forever chemicals, precisely because of their persistence in the environment and resistance to degradation.

The competent prosecutors of the Republic must also subject the governor of the Veneto Region and his acolytes to investigations, for having deliberately omitted the necessary measures of management and communication of public health risk. Thus contributing to the exposure to serious dangers of hundreds of thousands of people, even outside the Region as regards the circulation of contaminated food.

Nuremberg

Bulgarian support to the policy of siór Zaia cannot absolve him of very serious responsibilities. For not having protected its citizens - and to a lesser extent consumers residing elsewhere of contaminated food - from life dangers and incurable diseases. Tumors, endocrine, neurological and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes are the most serious risks, the collapse of male fertility the most widespread.

The regional councilor of Europa Verde, Cristina Guarda, observes how 'precious time has been lost in Veneto in recent years'.

'As an agricultural entrepreneur in the so-called red zone, I highlighted the need for actions and in support of the agricultural sector, proposing a coordinated response from the regional departments dealing with agriculture and health, since on the Pfas question they should have acted in concert or at least coordinated. '

PFAS, the German lesson

green europe, through the voice of Cristina Guarda, recalls the German lesson in the management of environmental crises linked to contamination by PFAS. Since 2013, two accidents have occurred in Baden-Württemberg, on 884 hectares of land.

The Land and the federal government however, instead of hiding the poisons under the carpet, they immediately activated the appropriate measures to protect the population. New water diversions but also new plans for agriculture, with the promotion of certain productions over others, and land reclamation as well as the aquifer.

Dario Dongo

Cover image taken from PFAS.land

Footnotes

(1) Dario Dongo. Toxic chemicals in disposable tableware and packaging. Survey on PFAS in the EU. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 29.5.21/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/imballaggi-e-moca/sostanze-chimiche-tossiche-in-imballaggi-e-stoviglie-usa-e-getta-inchiesta-sui-pfas-in-ue

(2) Marco Millions. Contamination by Pfas on the food chain, the Veneto Region will have to declassify the data: it sends Palazzo Balbi KO to the Tar Greenpeacehttps://supporto01.blogspot.com/2021/04/contaminazione-da-pfas-sulla-catena.html?m=1

(3) Legislative Decree 195/05 and subsequent amendments. Implementation of Directive 2003/4 / EC on public access to environmental information. Text updated on 15.9.10 on Normattiva https://bit.ly/2XFTIh4

(4) Mothers No Pfas, Greenpeace. PFAS in food from the red area of ​​Veneto. Press release 20.9.21, https://bit.ly/3nV9zD1

(5) Marco Millions. Pfas and food: there is contamination in 22 out of 26 municipalities. Vicenza Today. 20.9.21, https://www.vicenzatoday.it/attualita/alimenti-contaminati-pfas-carte-segrete-ambientalisti-20-settembre-2021.html

(6) Luca Bortoli. Veneto. Pfas, now it is official: food contaminated, and "nothing has been done". Future. 21.9.21, https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/pfas-allarme-su-carne-verdura-e-frutta

(7) EFSA, CONTAM panel (2020). Risk to human health related to the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances in food. EFSA Journal 2020; 18 (9): 6223. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2020.6223

(8) The search for Italian notifications concerning PFAS, in the period from 31.12.15 to 21.9.21, has no result on the RASFF database (https://bit.ly/3AxNzkW)

(9) EC Reg. 178/02, cd General Food Law, article 19. For further information see theebook 'Food safety. Mandatory rules and voluntary norms'LINK https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/libri/sicurezza-alimentare-regole-cogenti-e-norme-volontarie-il-nuovo-libro-di-dario-dongo

(10) Against a maximum PFOA intoxication limit defined as 8 ng / l of blood, ISS detected an average of 13,8 ng / l and 40 ng / l (with peaks of 159 ng / l), respectively , out of 259 residents and 122 farmers and breeders in the Vicenza red zone. There is no news of other biomonitoring (e.g. biopsies on the tissues of living and non-living people)

(11) Giuseppe Pietrobelli. Pfas, the trial begins in Vicenza, eight years after the discovery of groundwater pollution. Daily fact. 1.7.21, https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2021/07/01/pfas-al-via-il-processo-a-vicenza-dopo-otto-anni-dalla-scoperta-dellinquinamento-della-falda/6247733/

(12) Directive 2004/35 / EC, on environmental responsibility for the prevention and remedying of environmental damage. Consolidated text as of 26.6.19 on Europa Lex, https://bit.ly/3CB0Eux

(13) Dario Dongo. Pesticides, the danger of Peter Pan. Egalité. 5.10.19, https://www.egalite.org/pesticidi-il-pericolo-di-peter-pan/

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