By Maria Aguiar
March 11th, 2008
This recent article by our friend and colleague George Naylor -- an Iowa corn farmer and the outgoing president of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) -- speaks to all the reasons why we need to fight for Food Sovereignty and against huge agribusinesses here in the United States today!
Take a look and let us know what you think.
By Daniel Moss
January 30th, 2008
Grassroots International is pleased to highlight "The Story of Stuff ," a newly-released, highly informative and entertaining Web video that documents the destructive impacts of consumerism and waste. The video features activist Annie Leonard taking viewers through the process of creating a consumer good - from the extraction of materials to the disposal. Check it out but beware: Your trash will never look the same.
The new magic bullet for our energy woes - industrial agrofuels - is already exacting heavy costs on food security and rural communities around the world. The anticipated increase in agrofuel production could lead to catastrophic impacts on the world's ability to feed itself.
In this report, Grassroots International, the Community Food Security Coalition, World Hunger Year, Food First and several other food justice organizations tackle these impacts and identify actions that would buffer communities from increased hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation.
"Punjabis are poisoning themselves" declared the Economist not too long ago, quipping that the poster child of India's green revolution is now "in the throes of a grey revolution." We take heart that the Economist, a cheerleader for "free trade" and neoliberal economic policies, is raising questions about policies that have caused massive environmental degradation and serious public health consequences for India's bread basket state.
Isabella Kenfield and Roger Burbach of Center for the Study of the Americas have written an article with more details about a vicious, deadly attack on activists from the Via Campesina and the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Parana, Brazil on October 21.
A peaceful protest against genetically-modified seed testing turned into an a bloody shooting that resulted in the death of a local leader and the wounding of eight other activists i.
The gunmen, who were carrying illegal firearms including automatic weapons, worked for a security company hired by Syngenta, one of the biggest producers of seeds and agricutural chemicals in the world.
More and more people around the world are taking up the call by peasant and small farmers, indigenous peoples and pastoralists for food sovereignty as an expression of, and a way to realize the right to food. Earlier this year members of the Via Campesina and other organizations met in Mali to put in motion an action plan for achieving food sovereignty. On October 16th, World Food Day, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) endorsed food sovereignty as the right to food. As IFOAM notes, food sovereignty as the right to food means the right to feed oneself as opposed to the right to be fed.
SciDec.net has a story this morning about a new report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) says that over-reliance on high yield, factory-farming style breeds is causing the extinction of an average of one local breed of animals per month. Meanwhile, in the last 100 years we've lost 75 percent of crop diversity.
For over two decades, Dr. Tyrone Hayes has studied amphibians and what effects environmental changes have on their development, growth, and reproduction. In 1997, he was part of a research team for the chemical company, Novartis, which eventually became Syngenta. Dr.
"A few days a week, foul-smelling black mud comes out of the plant," Javier told us as he sat a short distance downstream from the Coca-Cola plant in Apizaco, Mexico. Javier, a small farmer getting on in years, has been tending his cows along the Apizquito River for decades. "The spring is about four kilometers up to the east. The water comes out sweet and clean there, but by the time it gets here it's polluted."
Javier, a small farmer near the Coke plant
1,200 indigenous people, fishermen and peasant farmers occupied the construction site of a major river rerouting project of the São Francisco river in protest. Members of different organizations and social movements in northeast Brazil are demanding that the federal government stop the implementation of this project and guarantee indigenous people’s land rights in the area.
“We are being evicted from our land for this by people who are not concerned with the river or with the livelihood of our families” said Neguinho Truká, leader of the Truká ethnic group.