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By The Oakland Institute
April 29th, 2008
"Burning food today so as to serve the mobility of the rich countries is a crime against humanity" said Jean Ziegler, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food criticizing the growing push for using food crops as fuel crops and diverting land use from food cultivation to fuel cultivation. In the face of the growing global crisis that he said could lead to "widespread hunger, malnutrition and social unrest on an unprecedented scale" United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon convened a global task force to respond, and called for closing the $755 million funding gap in the UN's World Food Programme.
April 18th, 2008
Partner press release from Via Campesina
(Jakarta, 17 April 2008) Small farmer's organisations and their allies are today celebrating the International Day of Peasant's Struggle commemorating the massacre of 19 landless workers, women and men struggling for land in Brazil 12 years ago. Today dozens of groups, communities and organisations in more than 25 countries around the world are organising more than 50 actions such as farmer's markets, conferences, direct actions, cultural activities and demonstrations to defend their right to food and their right to feed their communities.
Agribusiness Transnational Corporations (TNCs) Create World Food Crisis; Peasants Seize Back Their Rights
The world food crisis is starting to appear in its real picture this year. During the last decades hunger was "hiding" in rural or slump areas. Now the number is increasing and many more people cannot stand it anymore. Food riots appear and queues of hungry people are back in many part of the world.
Food activists, scientists, and representatives from governments and corporations around the world will begin meeting in Johannesburg on Monday, April 7th, to finalize a report on how the world can tackle the deeply interrelated issues of hunger, poverty, power, and global agriculture.
But global agribusinesses Monsanto, Syngenta, and BASF have refused to participate. They complained recently that genetic modification of agriculture was under-valued by the 4,000 scientists and experts working on the report, and that the report should not have stated that biotechnology in agriculture poses risks.
ETC Group, a Grassroots International ally based in Canada, has released a report highlighting the failure of governments to manage their multilateral food and agriculture agencies.
ETC is calling on the United Nations to gather the leaders of such agencies to hammer out a plan for the future. It says the meeting is necessary because of numerous threats facing the world's agricultural systems:
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.
Consumers around the world have seen the prices of staple food dramatically increasing over the past months, creating extreme hardship especially for the poorest communities. Over a year, wheat has doubled in price, maize is nearly 50% higher than a year ago. However, there is no crisis of production. Statistics show that cereals' production has never been as high as in 2007 (1).
There is no doubt that Planet Earth is gravely ill due to the destructive actions of corporate and financial capitalist elites, responsible for global environmental destruction and climactic changes, as well as the privatization of all forms of life. We stand at a crossroads: we either change the paradigm of current civilization or human and planetary life will be destroyed.
Today, the news from Europe is setting a promise of what's to come in 2008 for food sovereignty and real, sustainable energy. We received a press release today from the La Via Campesina that a hunger strike led by Jose Bové and the 15 other anti-GMO campaigners that the French government has sided with them. They will ban the only genetically modified (GM) corn (MON 810) legalized in France.
The U.S. Senate ignored the wishes of 4 million Peruvian farmers and countless numbers of American family farmers, ranchers, and consumers earlier this month when it voted to create a new Peru Free Trade Agreement (Peru FTA). The agreement, modeled on failed free trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA, will allow American agribusinesses to dump tons of below-cost commodities such as corn and soybeans into the Peruvian economy, thereby creating unfair competition for Peruvian farmers. It will also allow Peru to flood the U.S. market with cheap fruits and vegetables at a time when American family farmers are trying to build sustainable food systems by offering affordable local produce to consumers.