Author and professor Philip Ackerman-Leist has a new book titled A Precautionary Tale, reports the Rutland Herald. The book tells the story of how a township at the convergence of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy rallied to protect itself from the chemicals used in conventional agriculture. When the tree-fruit industry began to encroach on a region known for its diversified, organic agriculture, citizens of the 11 villages organized and used a ballot referendum and local elections to institute a ban on two classes of toxic pesticides. The action also included market support in the form of local school purchasing of organic products, as well as support for farmers transitioning to organic. Ackerman-Leist sees the story as precedent-setting for other communities: "I hope its a beacon for individual activists to stand up for what you believe in," he said. "Know that you have the power to write your own future, instead of assuming you’re subject to the whims and fanaticism of those in power."
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