Italian mayor bans bean growing to help child with rare allergy


The mayor of an Italian town has banned the cultivation of broad beans within a 300-metre radius surrounding the home of a child who has a rare allergy.

Lorenzo Falchi introduced the ban in Sesto Fiorentino, near Florence, at the request of the mother of the child, who has favism, a genetic disorder that triggers anaemia if broad beans are eaten or their pollen is inhaled. People growing the bean, which is popular in Italian cuisine, near the child’s home must stop within the next seven days. Local reports say the ban, which will remain in place indefinitely, affects an “ample” area. But Giovanni Rizzo, a spokesman for the mayor, said it would have limited impact on growers.

“It affects a mostly residential area, so there are mainly homes, a big baseball pitch and a number of allotments,” he said. “It’s not as if it’s a big production area for beans, so it won’t put any agricultural companies in difficulty.” The local authority initially rejected the mother’s request but the mayor was eventually moved to act after the child received a long period of care last year at one of Italy’s top children’s hospitals, the Meyer in Florence, as a result of acute haemolytic anaemia.(The guardian)…[+]