Film series

The Miracle of Mals

No pesticides in agriculture

The Miracle of Mals.

In Mals, Europe’s first successful referendum against the use of pesticides in agriculture was held in 2014 – 2,377 Mals residents want no more poison in their village.
Since the end of the 2000s, conventional apple cultivation has increasingly disfigured the landscape in South Tyrol. The monocultures are advancing deeper and deeper into the Alpine valleys. They occupy areas where calves and cows used to graze and farmers used to plant vegetables and cereals.

Monocultures and pesticides disfigure South Tyrol.
Apple monocultures that harm biodiversity are one problem. Another, much worse, are the pathogenic pesticides used in fruit cultivation. This is because the toxic spray mist, which is sprayed on the fruit-growing areas up to 20 times a year, is spread over the entire village by the wind.

Europe’s first pesticide-free community.
In his film “Das Wunder von Mals” (The Miracle of Mals), documentary filmmaker Alexander Schiebel reports how a handful of Mals residents defend themselves against pesticides and against an overpowering lobby of fruit growers, farmers’ association, regional government and corporations. In a referendum, 76 % of the citizens finally decide in favour of a future without glyphosate and co. Mals is to become the first pesticide-free community in Europe.