This week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is hosting the Second International Symposium on Agroecology. More than a set of agricultural practices, agroecology is profoundly political, intertwined with food sovereignty and peasants’ and farmers’ rights. Small-scale farmers, peasants, pastoralists and small-scale fishers – who make up what ETC calls “The Peasant Food Web” – already grow 70% of the world’s food using only 25% of agricultural resources.
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MONTREAL, MEXICO CITY, SÃO PAULO, February 22, 2018—The largest rural movements in Brazil, representing well over a million farmers, are protesting a new Brazilian regulation that would allow release of gene drives, the controversial genetic extinction technology, into Brazil’s ecosystems and farms.
We are told that it is big agribusiness, with its flashy techno-fixes and financial clout, that will save the world from widespread hunger and malnutrition and help food systems weather the impacts of climate change. However, a new report from ETC Group shows that in fact, it is a diverse network of small-scale producers, dubbed the Peasant Food Web, that feeds 70% of the world, including the most hungry and marginalized people.
(Read the news release about the report launch.)
Who Will Feed Us, now in its third edition, compares the industrial food system with peasant farming. Industrial farming gets all the attention (and most of the land). It accounts for more than 80% of the fossil fuel emissions and uses over 70% of the water supply used in agriculture, but it actually produces only about 30% of the world's food.
OTTAWA, CANADA – ETC Group today released an end-of-year update on the high-profile mergers announced in the agri-inputs industry in 2016. Arguing that the three announced seed/pesticide mega-mergers will only be decided in 2017 and possibly much later, ETC’s new update, entitled “Software vs. Hardware vs. Nowhere,” shows that it is not only the $97 billion per annum seed and crop chemicals market that is at stake in the three announced mergers.
CANCUN, MEXICO – This week, international conservation and environmental leaders are calling on governments at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called gene drives.
• CBD Decision X/33, 8 (w) on geoengineering remains valid and should be affirmed and strengthened.
• The potential impacts of geoengineering on biodiversity have been scarcely studied. Studies and policy recommendations on the impacts on biodiversity and associated livelihoods caused by any geoengineering intervention are, and should remain, under the mandate of CBD and its bodies.
• New research papers continue to demonstrate high risks and uncertainties associated with the full range of geoengineering proposals.
Yo ho ho! Who are the most gruesome and despicable biopirates plundering genetic resources in your country? Which corporate crooks are looting indigenous knowledge in your communities? Have any governments failed to ward off marauders, enacted bogus policies, or plotted against their own people? Which gene-jacking genome editors are carrying out dastardly digital theft via your local genome database?
OAHU, HAWAI'I — As thousands of government representatives and conservationists convene in Oahu this week for the 2016 World Conservation Congress, international conservation and environmental leaders are raising awareness about the potentially dangerous use of gene drives — a controversial new synthetic biology technology intended to deliberately cause targeted species to become extinct.
Since August 1st, the news is spreading that Monsanto had to abandon the construction of one of the biggest factories in the world for producing transgenic seed that was to be installed in Córdoba, Argentina, in the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas. From there they had planned to distribute seeds to Latin America and beyond. This is an occurrence of enormous importance, that the company has not wanted to admit publicly, because the reason for their exit is the persistent popular resistance from neighbourhoods, youths and mothers, who have blocked the factory since 2013.
Coming in at over 200 pages, today’s National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, 'Gene Drives on the Horizon’ is weighty but disappointing. It fails to properly address three of the most pressing issues raised by the controversial new technology of CRISPR-CAS9 gene drives. Dubbed, the ‘mutagenic chain reaction’ by its inventors, RNA-guided gene drives are a high-leverage synthetic biology technology invented only last year.
Briefing Note, May 31st, 2016
La Via Campesina, GRAIN and ETC Group
December 2015. In this new report, ETC Group examines corporate consolidation in four agricultural input sectors: seeds, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and farm equipment. With combined annual revenue of $385 billion, these companies call the shots. Who will dominate the industrial food chain? And what does it mean for farmers, food sovereignty and climate justice?
Many of the world's largest agro-industrial corporations are pushing forward the poorly-defined idea of "Climate-Smart Agriculture"(CSA) to re-market industrial agriculture as 'climate-ready'. This report uncovers how some advocates of CSA are embracing the extreme genetic engineering tools of synthetic biology ("Syn Bio") to develop a set of false solutions to the climate crisis.
The 20-page report includes:
- An overview of the Players lining up behind the “Climate-Smart” brand and the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA).
Some governments are exploring geoengineering as a way to reduce or delay climate change. Geoengineering could technically take climate decisions away from all but the richest countries. Computer models show that stratospheric interventions to reduce sunlight and lower temperatures may benefit some temperate zones but negatively impact Africa with important social and agricultural consequences.
The Mexican Chapter of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal has called on the Mexican government to ban the planting of genetically modified (GM) maize in the country. The decision cited the importance of maize as one of three principal staple crops globally, which millions depend on. The Tribunal, which considered evidence gathered over three years from over 1000 organizations on this and other issues, also highlighted the importance of Mexico as the centre of origin of maize globally.