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Italian researchers are protesting a law that may equate “biodynamic” methods with organic agriculture

One line in the draft law concerns scientists above all. Article I states that “for the purposes of this law, the biodynamic agriculture method […], when applied in compliance with the European Union’s dispositions on organic farming, is equated with organic farming”. A few articles later, the law requires one representative of biodynamic farmers to sit in a technical committee that will oversee the application of the law, including allocations of public funds.

In casting the only vote against the law in the Italian senate, scientist and Senator-for-life, Elena Cattaneo, condemned the legal recognition of practices that she called “anti-scientific, and esoteric”. Scientists have launched a petition asking for the law to be amended, calling it “absurd to confer economic and cultural preferred status to biodynamic agriculture, as it cannot be verified through the scientific method”. Scientific societies, such as Accademia dei Lincei, the Italian Academy for Agriculture, the Italian Society for Agronomy, the Italian Federation of Life Sciences, the Italian Association of Agricultural Scientific Society, have also expressed opposition to the law.

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