“There was a significant improvement in the 2017 results and although the sample size is still too small, the first figures for 2018 are also showing a very positive trend. So far, out of all the analysed samples taken by the MSD, we are pleased to note that no pesticide residues were found to exceed the MRL levels.”
This is an extract from an MCCAA news article published today on the authority’s website together with basic statistical findings (fig.1).
Such news is what local media should be disseminating… but they’re not doing it. Well, the media itself is not to be blamed of course (apart from when one misinterprets facts such as was the case with the latest EFSA report)!
I put the onus first and foremost on the industry itself. The agri sector is too uncoordinated and farmers are busy fighting the myriad of challenges which they face on a daily basis. In a nutshell, the industry is not putting the required pressure on local authorities. A press release like this puts Maltese and Gozitan farmers in a completely different light and shows that, even though the current local situation can be much better, it is definitely not as cataclysmic as certain segments of the media would like readers to believe.
Yet, it had to be such a negative report, and the subsequent backlash of the farming community, to alert the authorities (in this case MCCAA) to publish more recent statistical findings. Of course, this is not the only way how we’re going to improve our situation. But it’s a start. For instance, we still haven’t heard anything regarding this issue from the Department of Agriculture, or the Ministry under which it falls.
Things are gradually changing. With the advent of social media, people have much better access to current news, and are able to communicate better. The farmers are still there, the question is: Are the relevant authorities going to show more resolve in supporting them?