EU renews glyphosate for five years as Germany swings the balance

A much-awaited qualified majority of EU member states was reached today (27 November) for the re-authorisation of the world’s most commonly used weedkiller, glyphosate.

The Appeal Committee, which consists of experts from the EU member states and the European Commission, met on Monday to discuss renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/germany-swings-the-balance-as-eu-renews-glyphosate-for-five-years/

Monsanto Admits Untested Roundup Herbicide Could Cause Cancer in Secret Court Documents

In secret internal Monsanto documents released last week by legal firms in the U.S. it was revealed how Monsanto scientists admitted that they were aware of the possible carcinogenic and genotoxic risk posed by their number one product, the glyphosate-based herbicide – Roundup.

The new revelations follow similar revelations in May, which showed how the same Monsanto manager, Dr. George Levinskas, who helped hide the carcinogenic potential of PCBs in the 1970s, also influenced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate in the 1980s.

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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Forty-six farmers spraying Monsanto’s GM Bt cotton died after inhaling the pesticide

Pradip Maitra, Hindustan Times, reports that in Vidharba, 46 farmers growing Monsanto’s Bt cotton died after inhaling poisonous pesticide whilst spraying the crop.. As pests had become resistant to pesticides formerly used, stronger formulations were being used with little or no protection

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GM Crops Won't Feed the Hungry, But Agroecology Will

Dear Friends and Colleagues
GM Crops Won't Feed the Hungry, But Agroecology Will

A recent journal paper entitled "A Risky Solution for the Wrong Problem: Why GMOs won't Feed the Hungry of the World" concludes that the basic problem with a supply-side solution to global hunger, involving the use of genetically modified (GM) crops, is that it does not address the issue of food access for the poorest of the poor.

The principal GM crops in the world today are soybeans, maize, cotton, and canola. Most of these GM crops are not consumed directly, but are used as animal feed (soybeans, maize, and cotton byproducts), a sugar substitute (high-fructose corn syrup), vegetable oil (canola), or fiber (cotton). In wealthier countries, farmers are finding that GM insect-resistant Bt crops do not resolve the problem of pest populations developing pesticide resistance. They also do not avoid the broad-spectrum pesticide problem, wherein Bt not only harms the targeted pest population, but other non-target organisms. Finally, there are growing concerns about gene escape from herbicide-resistant crops to other crops and weeds.

Read more: GM Crops Won't Feed the Hungry, But Agroecology Will

BELWEDER DECLARATION: “The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food”

We, the undersigned, believe that industrial methods of food production constitute a very serious threat to the Polish people and the Polish countryside, and therefore we URGE the President and the Polish Government to respect the voice of the majority of their electorate and immediately implement the postulates of the BELWEDER DECLARATION: “The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food”.

BELWEDER DECLARATION: “The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food”

Having in mind respect for the beautiful traditions of peasant family farms, which in a unique way contribute towards the preservation of culture and biodiversity of crops in the Polish countryside and the best foods available in Europe;

recognising the key role of small and medium farms in the protection and preservation of food sovereignty that is essential for the basic supply of food for the Nation;

and believing that the only way that can guarantee optimal health and good condition of natural environment is the promotion of a diet based on local high-quality foods and the preservation of country landscape marked by natural biodiversity,

we demand that the President and the Polish Government:

  • Immediately start implementing a conscious policy whose aim is the protection and promotion of true qualities of the Polish countryside which serve the Polish Nation, and which are currently being irrevocably devastated by rapid globalisation and development of industrial farming.

  • Remove the restrictions concerning the possibility to buy a full range of products from local farmers by shops, schools, restaurants and other institutions.

  • Support and develop a strategy whose aim is the preservation of a large number of farmers and the traditional mosaic of family farms, and the development of strong, local and regional outlets, including an immediate implementation of a long-standing protection programme, as well as financial, expertise and promotion support for small and medium family farms.

  • Support eco-agrotourism, the processing of foods on farms and the use of renewable energy sources.

  • Take measures against air pollution (low emission from homesteads and farmhouses) in the Polish countryside.

  • Implement an immediate ban on the sales, cultivation and production of GMOs, as well as an effective strategy for the production of GMO-free Polish animal feeds.

  • Limit and completely withdraw industrial farming methods and make it possible for a long-term lease of land, currently in the hands of governmental agencies, to young, ambitious farmers who want to produce foods with the use of traditional and organic methods. Today, this will provide jobs form them and in future for their children, and will provide the Nation with good and healthy foods.

  • Introduce organic faring methods into schools' and universities' curriculums as one of the main directions and not just an alternative to industrial methods of food production.

We urge the President and the Polish Government to protect the unique geographical and historical strength of Poland based on traditional Polish countryside and create/draw a new vision of farming in order to prevent the imminent global catastrophe that threatens life and health of mankind and biodiversity.

We urge the President and the Polish Government to stop promoting the current agricultural policy based on highly chemical, industrial farming that can lead hundreds of thousands farmers to bankruptcy, soils to degradation and the country to food catastrophe.

We demand a fast answer concerning the implementation of the above postulates.

SIGNED:

I hereby agree to the processing of my personal data for the purposes of the BELWEDER DECLARATION: “The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food”

Sir Julian Rose, farmer and author, the President of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC)
Jadwiga Łopata, Goldman Prize winner, educational organic farm – the ICPPC ECOCETRE

dr Jacek J. Nowak, em. prof. SW, independent scientist, ICPPC's advisor

Edyta Jaroszewska-Nowak, President of Ekoland o/ ZPM, BIOEDEN FARM , NSZZ Solidarność RI o/ ZPM

Anna Bednarek, President of Stowarzyszenie Best Proeko-CIS

Lena Huppert, President of Fundacji Wspierania Rozwoju Kultury i Społeczeństwa Obywatelskiego QLT (QLT Foundation)

Anna Szmelcer, President of Stowarzyszenia Polska Wolna od GMO (GMO Free Poland)

Dorota Staszewska, doctor, Stowarzyszenie Polska Wolna od GMO (GMO Free Poland)

dr Jarosław Sachajko, President of Stowarzyszenie Rolników i Konsumentów Kukiz’15 (Farmers' and Consumers' Association Kukiz'15)

Jolata Dal, family farm Ohanadal, councillor

Additional information

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