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

Legal opinion: Monsanto’s activities have negative impact on basic human rights

On Tuesday April 18th the five international judges of the Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion. They have come to important conclusions, both on the conduct of Monsanto and on necessary developments in international law.

The judges conclude that Monsanto has engaged in practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food and the right to health. On top of that Monsanto's conduct is negatively affecting the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research. These are very important and well-funded legal conclusions that can be of great help to the victims of Monsanto worldwide.

The judges also conclude that despite the development of many instruments to protect the environment, a gap remains between commitments and the reality of environmental protection. International law should be improved for better protection of the environment and include the crime of ecocide. The Tribunal concludes that if such a crime of ecocide were recognized in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide.

Finally, in the third and last part of the advisory opinion, the Tribunal focusses on the widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability. It strongly advises the United Nations to take action to make sure that human and environmental rights are protected by (international) laws and are not overruled by trade agreements. It should be made possible to prosecute multinational corporations in the International Criminal Court.

Find here on the "Results" page of our website the full text and the summary of the advisory legal opinion delivered by the Monsanto Tribunal judges in The Hague.

DNA damage and methylation induced by glyphosate in peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Please cite this article as: Kwiatkowska, M., Reszka, E., Woźniak, K., Jabłońska, E., Michałowicz, J., Bukowska, B., DNA damage and methylation induced by glyphosate in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (in vitro study), Food and Chemical Toxicology (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.03.051.

Pdf to read

Glyphosate Exposure and Increased Frequency of Cancer in Argentina

Glyphosate Exposure and Increased Frequency of Cancer in Argentina

In 1996, Argentina began to grow genetically modified (GM) crops, which currently cover 25 million hectares on which 12 million people live. These crops have generated a substantial increase in pesticide use. In 2013, Argentina sprayed 240,000 tons of glyphosate.

The town of Monte Maiz lies at the heart of Argentina’s agricultural area, where soy, maize, and wheat are grown. In recent years, local governmental authorities along with local residents and doctors have been worried about an apparent increase in the number of people suffering from cancer, in particular since the introduction of GM herbicide-resistant crops and the massive use of glyphosate in conjunction. The Mayor and residents of Monte Maiz requested an environmental health study.

Read more: Glyphosate Exposure and Increased Frequency of Cancer in Argentina

'Golden Rice': Unexpected genomic effects

15 February 2017 / A new publication has reported unintended effects in genetically engineered rice producing precursors of vitamin A, so-called carotenoids. Crossing the manipulated rice with the Indian variety Swarna led to a nasty surprise: The resulting plants showed extensive disturbance in their growth. The researchers identified several reasons for this: The new gene constructs interfere with the plant’s own gene for producing growth hormones, and the additional gene constructs were not, as intended, active solely in the kernels, but also in the leaves. This led to a substantial reduction in the content of chlorophyll that is essential for vital functions in the plants.

https://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/1859

Molecular and Functional Characterization of GR2-R1 Event Based Backcross Derived Lines of Golden Rice in the Genetic Background of a Mega Rice Variety Swarna

Homozygous Golden Rice lines developed in the background of Swarna through marker assisted backcross breeding (MABB) using transgenic GR2-R1 event as a donor for the provitamin A trait have high levels of provitamin A (up to 20 ppm) but are dwarf with pale green leaves and drastically reduced panicle size, grain number and yield as compared to the recurrent parent, Swarna. In this study, we carried out detailed morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of these lines in a quest to identify the probable reasons for their abnormal phenotype. Nucleotide blast analysis with the primer sequences used to amplify the transgene revealed that the integration of transgene disrupted the native OsAux1 gene, which codes for an auxin transmembrane transporter protein. Real time expression analysis of the transgenes (ZmPsy and CrtI) driven by endosperm-specific promoter revealed the leaky expression of the transgene in the vegetative tissues. We propose that the disruption of OsAux1 disturbed the fine balance of plant growth regulators viz., auxins, gibberellic acid and abscisic acid, leading to the abnormalities in the growth and development of the lines homozygous for the transgene. The study demonstrates the conserved roles of OsAux1 gene in rice and Arabidopsis.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169600

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