viernes, julio 31, 2009

Argentina: la invasión forestal, por Darío Ananda

Fuente: Página 12

Organizaciones sociales advierten sobre los riesgos del monocultivo de árboles para la industria de la celulosa y aserraderos: concentración de tierras, pérdida de biodiversidad y desalojos campesinos e indígenas. Algo parecido a lo que ocurrió con la soja. Una legislación generosa incentiva su avance.

Verdes, prolijos y en línea. Son como un ejército en formación. El norte de Misiones está invadido por árboles que parecen clonados, miles de hectáreas de pinos, el cultivo más popular de la provincia, materia prima básica para plantas de celulosa y aserraderos. Impulsada por los gobiernos y el sector empresarial, la siembra masiva de árboles es un fenómeno en crecimiento, pero con consecuencias silenciadas: pérdida de biodiversidad y desalojo compulsivo de campesinos e indígenas. “Es un avance como el de la soja, que expulsa pobladores ancestrales, arrasa la vegetación nativa, utiliza agrotóxicos y exprime territorios con el único fin de obtener dinero. Es que las forestales no siembran bosques, siembran monocultivo industrial”, sostiene el Consejo Asesor Indígena (CAI), una de las organizaciones que se han declarado en alerta por el avance forestal en la Patagonia, con conflictos crecientes en Río Negro y Neuquén. En la última década, la forestación intensiva duplicó su producción y la superficie sembrada, al abrigo de una generosa ley –aprobada durante el menemismo y prorrogada luego– que otorga subsidios a las compañías, devolución de IVA y exención de Ingresos Brutos, entre otras ventajas. En definitiva, una industria de bajo perfil y alta rentabilidad.

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Agrotóxicos y transgénicos: las multinacionales marcan el paso

Los agrotóxicos continúan siendo usados a gran escala, principalmente en los monocultivos agrícolas y transgénicos, a pesar de sus efectos nocivos sobre el medio ambiente, la salud de los trabajadores que los manipulan, los pobladores rurales que los sufren y todos nosotros que los consumimos a través de los alimentos.

Solamente el año pasado, el mercado mundial de los agrotóxicos tuvo un lucro líquido de 40.000 millones de dólares. La producción de estas sustancias está concentrada en nueve multinacionales, que controlan el 90% de la producción: Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto BASF, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont y Nufarm

Dichos datos fueron presentados por la Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (ANVISA) durante el III seminario Nacional de Agrotóxicos, Salud y Sociedad realizado en Brasilia durante la segunda semana de julio. También se dio a conocer que 65 países de los 191 reconocidos por la ONU, son más ricos por el mercado de los agrotóxicos. Debido a su gran poder económico, esas empresas contribuyen con dinero para financiar campañas para elegir a los representantes de gobierno, a fin de que una vez electos defiendan sus intereses y dificulten cualquier iniciativa de control o de prohibición de estas sustancias.

Brasil es uno de los mayores consumidores de agrotóxicos en el mundo. Los cultivos de soja transgénica han acrecentado el uso de estos productos, seguidos por el maíz, caña de azúcar y algodón. En el 2008 el mercado brasileiro consumió 673.862 toneladas de estos productos, probando así -contrariamente a lo que dice la propaganda de las empresas- que los cultivos transgénicos aumentan el uso de los agrotóxicos.


A Recipe For Disaster: Industrial Agriculture, Swine Flu, and Global Warming

“A threat of unknown magnitude,” some have called it. The LA Times writes that it could kill hundreds over the next two years. What is it? Swine flu. How did we get here and what are the connections between industrial agriculture, global warming, and what many think could be a deadly flu epidemic?

Arun Gupta, an editor at the Indypendent and the author most recently of Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Global Warming and Health Project, and Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States and author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatchingir?t=lauraflanders-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1590560981 discuss the looming threats of avian and swine flu, global warming, and what we can do to change our system of industrial agriculture. You can find the NRDC’s new report on Dengue Fever here.

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martes, julio 28, 2009

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July 28, 2009

Truck Farm is a Roving Veggiemobile

by Yuka Yoneda

“How do you grow your own food in the big city if you ain’t got no land?” Easy - do what these Brooklynites did and start a Truck Farm! True, you don’t usually think “1986 Dodge Ram when you think “green vehicle“, but this pickup with ripe rows of arugula, lettuce, broccoli, herbs, tomatoes and habaneros thriving right in its flatbed, is definitely an exception. To make matters even more awesome, “four-wheel farmer” Ian Cheney and his partner Curt Ellis of Wicked Delicate, have even been documenting their automofarm in a series of musical, lyric-accompanied, video shorts (”The recession was upon me, my health was slipping away. I decided what I needed, was more vegetables everyday.”) resulting in both hilarity and a cult-like following as they spread love (and broccoli) around New York City.

Getting Truck Farm started wasn’t quite as easy as just dumping a bunch of dirt into the bed of a truck and tossing some seeds in. As Cheney illustrates in Episode 1 of the series, holes had to be drilled into the bed for drainage (”I kinda hope I’m not drilling into the gas tank,” he muses). Alive Structures, an NYC-based company that specializes in rainwater management lent a hand with a root barrier, erosion blanket, drainage mat and cups which are usually reserved for green roofs. Last, but not least, the soil that lies in Truck Farm’s bed is not just regular dirt - it is a special lightweight blend of styrofoam (talk about a cool way to recycle polystyrene!), gel, organics, and clay.

So what happens to the veggies that grow on/in Truck Farm? Believe it or not, the Truck Farm has its very own CSA plan. “For only 20 bucks, you can eat whatever grows in this truck” croons The Fishermen Three, in Episode 2. A truck that drives your veggies to customers to pluck straight out of the soil with their own hands? You have to admit that’s quite a bit fresher than Fresh Direct.

Okay, we know what you’re thinking - a truck with a farm in its backseat still guzzles gas. This is one aspect of the Truck Farm that was plaguing us too. But the guys from Wicked Delicate seem like they take great care in making sure the logistics behind their project are sustainable (heck, even the camera they use is solar-powered) that we think there must be an explanation. Perhaps they don’t actually drive the truck around that much? Although it is certainly worth considering how the vehicle itself could be made greener, we think it’s important to focus on what Truck Farm represents - a new, improved way of thinking about how we get our food in the concrete jungle. Keep on truckin’/farmin’!!!

+ Wicked Delicate

Via Tasting Table


lunes, julio 27, 2009

Fed Up With Corn

by Peter Rothberg on 07/27/2009 @ 6:36pm

In Native American tradition, beans, squash and maize (or corn) were planted and grown together, supporting each other in their life-cycles and providing the foundation of a balanced diet offering carbohydrates, proteins and vegetable fats to their cultivators. The three crops were known as the "three sisters."

Those days, however, are as long gone as buffalos wildly roaming the plains. Michael Pollan's opus, The Omnivore's Dilemma, detailed the role of commodity corn in processed food and helped spark a chain reaction of impassioned documentaries and urgent op-ed pieces. As Pollan argues, spurred by government subsidies, US industrial farms grow more than 10 billion bushels of corn a year, far more than we can possibly eat, which leads directly to the mass consumption of corn-based fast food and high fructose corn syrup, which, in turn, leads directly to obesity, diabetes and numerous other health hazards.

Adding insult (and poor taste) to injury is another disturbing development which Daniel Patterson points out in a post at San Francisco Magazine: The corn that we eat has lost its flavor, falling victim to America's drift toward sweet, heavy-handed, one-dimensional tastes.

The problem is that corn is pollinated in a way that makes it easy for species to cross strains--which is why it's the most hybridized plant on the planet. As Patterson explains, there was a time when all corn was open-pollinated, which meant that farmers could save their seeds from year to year, rotating varieties based on their flavor and their ability to thrive in a particular place. When seed companies began to introduce sweeter, higher-yielding varieties in the mid–20th century, the old strains gradually fell away and were replaced by hybrids patented in labs. Now, most corn farmers grow one of the supersweet varieties and the corn many of us remember from childhood is available only from farmer's markets and organic farm stands.

The good news is that with a little open space and reasonable growing conditions, most people can grow their own corn. The Victory Seeds catalog offers inexpensive seeds for dozens of historical varieties along with growing instructions and recipes.

If you're like me and, sadly, live without any outdoor space, then console yourself with the corn at your local farmer's market, food co-op or CSA. Not sure where to find local fruits and vegetables? Check out Local Harvest's exhaustive database to find the best organic food grown closest to where you live. Have any good corn recipes? Let us know in the comments field. I'll publish favorites.

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domingo, julio 26, 2009

Grupo ETC / Greenpeace / Biofuel Watch
Boletín de prensa
22 de julio de 2009

Organizaciones denuncian
durante reunión global de la industria biotecnológica

Montreal, 22 de julio de 2009. Mientras cientos de delegados se reunían en la Sexta Conferencia Anual de Biotecnología y Bioprocesamiento Industrial en el Palais des Congrès en Montreal, un grupo de ONGs –Grupo ETC, Greenpeace y Biofuelwatch– se unieron en una conferencia de prensa, para advertir que las nuevas energías “verdes” de la industria biotecnológica son más que nada propaganda, que los gobiernos no deberían incrementar los subsidios a estas empresas y que la materia prima en la que se basa dicha industria —llamada “biomasa” en términos generales— no es ni abundante ni fácilmente convertible a químicos, plásticos y combustibles renovables.

Jim Thomas, investigador del Grupo ETC, afirmó que detrás del fino velo verde de la “energía limpia” y los “plásticos renovables”, hay una inmensa disputa industrial de las grandes empresas biotecnológicas por apropiarse de la mayor cantidad posible de biomasa del planeta: “El control que tienen los gigantes genéticos sobre los componentes más pequeños de la vida, como el ADN, se ha vuelto mucho más rápido y sofisticado con la inversión de miles de millones de dólares en nuevas tecnologías como la metagenómica y la biología sintética. El 25 por ciento de la llamada biomasa mundial – de todo tipo, incluyendo vegetales, bosques, residuos y otras fuentes de biomasa- ya fue mercantilizada. Ahora la industria está tras el 75 por ciento restante. La búsqueda de mayores cantidades de celulosa vegetal —el material orgánico más abundante en la Tierra— hará que las reservas naturales y las llamadas “tierras marginales” se vuelvan más comercialmente valiosas que nunca. Hace tres años, muchas organizaciones no gubernamentales advertimos que la demanda del etanol de maíz provocaría un alza de precios de alimentos y hambruna. Tuvimos razón. Ahora lanzamos el alerta de que este acaparamiento masivo de la biomasa tendrá consecuencias igualmente devastadoras para la gente —sobre todo en los países del Sur, porque es ahí a donde estas compañías irán a buscar materia prima cuando ésta se acabe o no puedan conseguirla en sus propios países.”

Rachel Smolker de Biofuelwacht, con sede en el Reino Unido, desafió a las compañías presentes en la Conferencia BIO a hacerse una pregunta fundamental: “¿Existe suficiente biomasa en el mundo para todos sus propósitos previstos? La respuesta es un contundente no.” Citó metas y números de uso de biomasa utilizados por gobiernos y por la industria para probar su argumento: Los Estados Unidos adoptaron una meta de producción de 36 mil millones de galones de biocombustibles anuales para el año 2022, argumentando que hay mil trescientos millones de toneladas de biomasa disponibles. Pero de acuerdo a varios análisis, ¡para esto se necesitaría arrasar 80 por ciento de la biomasa disponible en tierras agrícolas, bosques y pastizales! Y esta es sólo una de las metas previstas. La fuerza aérea estadounidense pretende sustituir 25 por ciento de su demanda de combustible por biocombustible, y la industria aérea comercial está siguiendo sus pasos. La industria química tiene como meta sustituir 10 por ciento de su materia prima por biomasa. Mientras tanto, la mayor parte (el 70 por ciento de los subsidios) de las políticas de apoyo a la energía renovable ( principalmente para electricidad y calefacción) se traducen al consumo simultáneo de biomasa con carbón y otras tecnologías de biomasa. La combinación de estas metas es completamente insostenible, sobre todo en el contexto de la necesidad de alimentar una población creciente, ecosistemas en declive y la degradación de tierras y aguas.

Eric Darier, Director de Geenpeace Quebec, exhortó a los gobiernos y a los inversionistas privados a tener cuidado en sus contactos con el cabildeo biotecnológico y a no subirse ciegamente al “tren de la innovación”: “Necesitamos apoyar y aplicar el principio precautorio reconocido en la legislación internacional y realizar evaluaciones de todo el ciclo vital de las tecnologías propuestas, rigurosos e independientes, antes de declarar cualquier tecnología ´verde´.” Darier denunció la falta de participación pública en los debates sobre la biotecnología y cuestionó la falta de apoyo a pericias científicas independientes que verifiquen las afirmaciones de la industria. “La sociedad requiere una evaluación estratégica completa de cada tecnología durante su desarrollo. Si no lo hacemos, tendremos que lidiar con las consecuencias décadas después, como lo estamos haciendo ahora con los químicos tóxicos y los pesticidas.”
Contactos para entrevistas a los medios:

Jim Thomas, Grupo ETC +1 613 261-8580
Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch +1 802 735-7794
Eric Darier, Greenpeace Quebec +1 514 605-6497


Vital Signs Media Alert

For Immediate Release

July 23, 2009

Contact: Julia Tier

(+1 202) 452.1999 x594

Organic Agriculture Expands to Meet Growing Demand

Farmers managed 32.3 million hectares of organic agricultural land worldwide in 2007, a 118-percent increase since 2000. This rapidly growing practice appears in 141 countries but still accounts for less than 1 percent of the world’s agricultural land.

According to the latest Vital Signs analysis on organic agriculture:

· Consumer demand led to $46 billion in global sales of organic food and drink products in 2007, with average annual growth of $5 billion over the last decade. The United States and European Union account for 97 percent of the global revenue stream.

· Asia’s organic food market is experiencing double-digit growth rates of 15–20 percent per year, fueled in part by food safety concerns. China is home to more than half of the region’s 2.8 million hectares of organically managed land. India follows closely with more than 1 million hectares.

· Many organic product labels are now owned by large companies as market supply chains continue to consolidate. Analysts highlight growing trends in the number of highly processed organic foods, in global sourcing rather than local, and in the quantity of organic products that are traded internationally.

This new organic agriculture update includes the latest figures on organic agricultural area globally and by continent from 2000 to 2007.

Read the Vital Signs analysis, “Organic Agriculture More than Doubled Since 2000.”

Complete trends will soon be available with full endnote referencing, Excel spreadsheets, and customizable presentation-ready charts as part of our new subscription service, Vital Signs Online, slated to launch this fall.

Julia Tier

Communications Associate

Worldwatch Institute

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viernes, julio 24, 2009


Keynote - Transforming the Food Crisis: From Food Rebellions to Food Sovereignty by Eric Holt Gimenez from Community Food Security Coalitio on Vimeo.

Keynote lecture by Eric Holt Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First in Oakland CA. Introduced by Peter Mann of the World Hunger Year. This keynote took place on October 7, 2008 at the 12th Annual Conference of the Community Food Security Coalition in Cherry Hill, NJ. Learn more about the conference at


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jueves, julio 23, 2009

El G8 y la crisis climática:
¿coincidirán los hechos con las palabras?

Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques Tropicales (WRM)

Los gobiernos de algunos de los países más poderosos del mundo se reunieron recientemente en Italia y produjeron un documento titulado “Un Liderazgo Responsable para un Futuro Sostenible”. En su declaración, informan al mundo que están “decididos a asegurar el crecimiento sostenible y a enfrentar los desafíos interrelacionados de la crisis económica, la pobreza y el cambio climático”.

Podría ser divertido, si no fuera porque la situación actual es tan trágica.

El mundo enfrenta una grave crisis económica, la pobreza aumenta en todas partes – y también en esos 8 países – y la crisis climática está cercana al desastre. Todo como consecuencia directa del liderazgo “responsable” de los gobiernos de esos y otros pocos países durante muchas décadas.

Obviamente, nadie puede culpar a países como Tuvalu, Fiji, Laos, Camboya, Papúa Nueva Guinea, Gambia, Namibia, Uruguay, Cuba o la mayoría de los 192 estados miembro de las Naciones Unidas de haber creado dichos problemas. Sin embargo, la mayoría de ellos ya están impactando gravemente sobre sus pueblos.

El G8 ahora promete que “encabezará la lucha contra el cambio climático”, pero la realidad muestra que están haciendo exactamente lo opuesto: en el Reino Unido se criminaliza a militantes que intentan impedir el uso de carbón, se planea abrir Alaska a la explotación petrolera, las empresas petroleras y gaseras de los países del G8 continúan lucrando con los combustibles fósiles, al tiempo que el consumo en dichos países acelera la destrucción de bosques tropicales.

Los países que ya sufren a causa del cambio climático nunca manifestaron el deseo de ser “liderados” por el G8. Al contrario, están exigiendo que ellos y otros gobiernos poderosos acepten su responsabilidad por los problemas que han creado y hagan algo al respecto. No para el 2050 sino ahora mismo. No con declaraciones sino con acciones concretas. No a través de “mecanismos de mercado” sino a través de estrictos mecanismos legales.

El mundo – sus pueblos y ecosistemas – ya no puede tolerar un sistema donde unos pocos gobiernos, en base a su poder económico, político y militar, usan y destruyen el planeta en beneficio propio. En tal sentido, los países del G8 deben recordar el significado de la palabra democracia y aceptar que constituyen una pequeña minoría que no ha recibido de nadie, salvo de ellos mismos, el mandato de liderar a los demás.

El mundo no quiere ni necesita su “liderazgo”, pero sí necesita que actúen de manera “responsable” para enfrentar el desastre climático que han creado. El mundo necesita que hagan coincidir sus palabras con hechos.


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miércoles, julio 22, 2009

Affirming Life and Diversity. Rural Images and Voices on Food Sovereignty in South India

Deccan Development Society (DDS) Community Media Trust, P.V. Satheesh and Michel Pimbert, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Deccan Development Society, London, 2008. Set of 4 DVDs, plus booklet

review by GRAIN

These four DVDs, which contain 12 films with a total length of almost six hours, are a veritable treasure trove. They are the result of a seven-year collaboration between the UK-based IIED, the Deccan Development Society of Andhra Pradesh, India, and women’s sanghams (Indian village associations of the poor). The process was guided throughout by a steering group made up of representatives of all three partners. The films, which were shot by the women, deal with the struggle by farmers in the drylands of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to develop socially and ecologically sustainable ways of living and farming. The semi-arid region is regularly hit by drought, and farming is difficult, yet the plateau enjoys a rich agrarian culture, with a wide diversity of crops and livestock, and a wealth of local knowledge.

The films, shot over several years, give a fascinating account of local farming struggles. The first film looks at the impact of the Indian government’s Public Distribution System (PDS), by which Green Revolution rice is brought in from other regions of India to feed the poor, further impoverishing local farmers, who find no market for their crops. It documents the way in which women’s sanghams decided to set up an alternative decentralized, locally controlled PDS, in which they buy up locally grown dryland cereals (millets and sorghum), work out for themselves the families who need free food, and distribute the cereals to them. This scheme has proved so successful in improving livelihoods and sustaining the local ecology that it is changing official policy at state level. Another film documents over a year farmers’ experience with BT cotton, recording their early hopes and their subsequent bitter disillusion. The film-makers, it seems, had no a priori agenda: if Bt cotton had improved lives in any way, the farmers would have certainly had no hesitation in saying so. Another film shows the importance of uncultivated foods in the dalit food system: some 80 species of uncultivated leafy greens are eaten, and they are the source of many nutrients essential for good health. Other films deal with the difference that technology, when appropriate and introduced under local control, can make to farmers’ lives, and a visit by sangham women to Quechua communities in Peru.

These films are beautifully shot and cogently argued, demonstrating conclusively that non-literate women from marginalised communities can articulate pictorially their understanding of the world around them to produce powerful videos. The films also show in no uncertain way that, when given the chance, local people can work out their own solutions to problems in a participatory process that strengthens their institutions and organisations. It makes no sense for external organisations to impose their own agenda on such vibrant communities, and yet that is still what happens in many parts of the world.

The DVD series and book can be ordered from IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, UK.


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Download PDF Download PDF (103 KB) - about 18 seconds on a 56k modem

News Release
Biofuelwatch / ETC Group / Greenpeace


Montreal- July 21 2009 -- As hundreds of delegates gathered for the Sixth Annual Conference on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing at Palais des congrès in Old Montreal, a group of NGOs held an early morning press conference across the street. Greenpeace, ETC Group and Biofuelwatch joined forces to warn that the “green” energy of the biotech industry was mostly hype, that governments should not add to their already generous subsidies of the industry and that the feedstock on which it is all based – so called “biomass” – is neither plentiful nor easily converted into renewable chemicals, plastics and fuels.

Jim Thomas, a researcher from ETC Group, charged that behind the thin, green veneer of clean energy and renewable plastics, Big Bio is, in fact, engaged in a huge industrial power grab: “The Gene Giants’ control over the smallest components of life such as DNA has now become much more rapid and sophisticated with billions of dollars being invested in new technologies such as metagenomics and synthetic biology. Twenty-five percent of the world's so-called biomass has already been commodified. Now industry is going after the remaining seventy-five percent. The quest for greater quantities of plant cellulose – the most abundant organic material on earth – will make nature reserves and marginal lands more commercially valuable than ever before. Three years ago, NGOs warned that the demand for corn ethanol would lead to higher food prices and hunger. We were right. And today we’re warning that this massive biomass-grab will bring about similarly devastating consequences for people – especially in the Third World, because that is where these companies will look when there’s no more feedstock closer to home.”

Rachel Smolker from UK-based Biofuelwatch challenged the companies present at the BIO Conference to ask themselves a fundamental question: “Is there enough biomass out there for the all the purposes being envisaged? The answer is a resounding no.” She cited targets and figures for biomass-use being used by governments and industry to prove the point: The U.S. has adopted a target of 36 billion gallons of biofuels per year by 2022, claiming there is 1.3 billion tons of available biomass. Yet by some analyses, this would require mowing down 80% of the available biomass from agricultural, forest and grass lands! And this is just one target. The U.S. air force has set itself a goal of replacing 25% of its fuel demand with biofuels, and commercial aviation is following suit. The chemicals industry has set a target of replacing 10% of its feedstocks with biomass as well. Meanwhile, policy measures intended to support the development of renewable energy (electricity and heat) are largely (about 70 percent of subsidies) translating into co-firing of biomass with coal and other biomass technologies. These combined targets are entirely unsustainable, especially in light of the need to feed a growing population, declining ecosystems and soil and water degradation.

Eric Darier, Director of Greenpeace Quebec, urged governments and private investors to approach the BIO lobby with great caution and to resist blindly jumping on the “innovation bandwagon:” “We need to support and apply the precautionary principle as recognized in international law and conduct vigorous and independent life cycle analyses before declaring any technology ‘green.’” Darier denounced the lack of public participation in debates over biotech and questioned our ability to ensure independent scientific expertise to properly check industry’s claims. “This will require a full strategic assessment of each technology as it is being developed. If not, we shall be left to clean up the mess decades from now, just as we are doing with toxic chemicals and pesticides today.”

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martes, julio 21, 2009

La fiebre porcina, desastre causado por la agricultura industrial

Prof. Carmelo Ruiz Marrero
Educador ambiental

4 de mayo 2009

Desde hace una semana los medios noticiosos nos han saturado con noticias, comentarios y consejos sobre el brote letal de fiebre porcina que aflige a México. No ha habido escasez de llamados expertos que han apuntado su dedo acusador a todos lados excepto a donde se debe apuntar, mientras que algunos en la izquierda nos entretienen con teorías de conspiración.

Esta mortal epidemia tiene el mismo origen que la gripe aviar en Asia: es causa del sistema industrializado de producción de carne, que encierra miles de animales en condiciones hacinadas e insalubres bajo un mismo techo, en aras de eficiencia y reducción de costos. Estos corrales de escala industrial no solamente generan crueldad y sufrimiento innecesario a los animales sino que son también el criadero perfecto de infecciones virales que se pueden convertir en pandemias globales.

Esto ya se había advertido. La organización no gubernamental GRAIN ya había lanzado tal advertencia en 2008 en un artículo sobre los peligros a la salud humana causados por los masivos corrales industriales de pollos y cerdos. En 2006 el Instituto Nacional de la Salud de Estados Unidos declaró lo siguiente: “Debido a que los sistemas de alimentación tienden a concentrar grandes cantidades de animales en muy poco espacio, facilitan la rápida transmisión y mezcla de los virus”. Y tres años antes, la revista Science advirtió que el aumento en el tamaño de los criaderos industriales estaba acelerando la evolución del virus de la fiebre porcina.

Comunidades cercanas a estas instalaciones infernales- en lugares como Rumania, Indonesia, Carolina del Norte y México- han estado quejándose por años de los problemas ambientales extremos que éstas causan, que van desde olores insoportables de excremento animal hasta la contaminación de cuerpos de agua con microbios letales como la bacteria lifsteria.

Ante esta emergencia de salud hay un peligro real de que los gobiernos tomen acciones irracionales, basadas en la histeria y que empeoren aun más la situación. Hay supuestos expertos que aconsejan que las pequeñas fincas de cerdos y aves, en las que los animales se pasean libremente, sean cerradas. Tal acción, además de arbitraria e irracional, es injusta ya que estos pequeños productores ninguna culpa tienen de esta situación. De hecho, su modo de producción artesanal ofrece una solución.

Los antibióticos para animales de finca, las medidas de conteminiento y las vacunas para seres humanos no servirán de nada si no se atiende el problema de fondo. Los corrales industriales deben ser abiertos a inspección. En la mayoria de éstos se le prohibe la entrada al publico, a la prensa y hasta a inspectores del gobierno- esto no tiene justificación.

Los corrales industriales no pueden ser reformados. Deben ser abolidos, pues no aportan ningun beneficio al consumidor o a la sociedad- su supuesta eficiencia es una ilusión. La producción industrial de alimentos debe ser reemplazada por una producción artesanal, post-industrial y post-capitalista, con la cual se podrá salvaguardar la salud publica y el ambiente, y alimentar al mundo.


GRAIN. "Influenza porcina: un sistema alimentario que mata"

GRAIN. "Viral times - The politics of emerging global animal diseases", Seedling, enero 2008.

Silvia Ribeiro, "Epidemia de lucro," La Jornada, 28 de abril 2009.

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lunes, julio 20, 2009

Update on swine flu


An interesting aspect of the swine flu outbreak is how early the link was made with factory farming. This was largely the result of pressure from local residents in the village of La Gloria in the municipality of Perote, Mexico. Like other communities, in Romania (Europe) and North Carolina (USA), they have been struggling for years against the social, environmental and health impacts of the large pig farms that Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, has set up through a joint venture near their hamlets. Indeed, well before the outbreak, some leaders in La Gloria were arrested or beaten up because of their opposition.

When people were affected by a strange respiratory disease in 2008, they were convinced from the beginning that the outbreak was caused by waste coming from the farms. The community made repeated efforts to get the authorities to investigate. When the authorities finally sent a medical team to test people in the community, they found that 60 per cent of the community’s 3,000 people were affected by an undiagnosed respiratory disease. It was not until weeks later, on 27 April 2009, when the country was well into a swine flu epidemic affecting thousands of people, that the Mexican government announced that the sole sample taken from La Gloria (that of a 5-year-old boy) and sent to a laboratory with the capacity to diagnose human swine flu, had come back positive for H1N1– the first recorded case of swine flu in the country.

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domingo, julio 19, 2009

Microbios, gripe y puercos trasnacionales

Silvia Ribeiro

Investigadora del Grupo ETC

La jornada, México, 18/7/09

Aunque los casos comprobados de gripe porcina humana llegan a más de 100 mil en el mundo y se teme que las próximas mutaciones del virus lo harán más letal, los gobiernos y la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) se esfuerzan en ignorar las causas reales de la pandemia.

En lugar de ello, predominan los enfoques fragmentarios y sobre los síntomas, como el desarrollo de una vacuna contra el nuevo virus, que aunque tenga corta vida efectiva y hasta podría empeorar la situación, es un gran negocio para las trasnacionales que dominan ese mercado.

La actual pandemia de gripe porcina es grave en sí misma y sin embargo es apenas un indicador del acelerado proceso de recombinación y creación de nuevos agentes patógenos de los últimos años. No es un hecho aislado ni fortuito, es un componente lógico y coherente de la grave crisis generalizada de salud a nivel global, contraparte de las múltiples crisis económicas, ambientales, climáticas, en que estamos inmersos gracias a décadas de lucro desenfrenado de las trasnacionales, devastadoras de la gente y el planeta.

Aunque las autoridades finjan demencia (o incluso premien a los causantes de la epidemia, como en México) está claro el papel fundamental de la cría industrial de animales a gran escala, principalmente cerdos, como promotores de la creación de nuevos patógenos. No es el único factor, pero es clave en el origen de la actual epidemia y las que vienen, porque los cerdos actúan, más que otras especies, como "crisol" para la recombinación de nuevos virus. Las condiciones de hacinamiento de miles de animales donde circulan diferentes cepas de virus que pueden infectar simultánemente al mismo animal, el estrés, las frecuentes vacunaciones y exposición continua a plaguicidas, exacerban esta capacidad.

La comprobación de que también los humanos trasmiten el nuevo virus A/H1N1 a los cerdos, es muy preocupante porque acelera las causas de mutación del virus que puede retornar a los humanos en formas más agresivas. Sin embargo, el 16 de julio la OMS anunció que la gripe porcina humana (asépticamente llamada por ellos A/H1N1 para exculpar a los industriales de cría de puercos) se ha extendido tanto y el nivel de contagio es tan común, que ya no se requiere a los países reportar al organismo los nuevos casos. De todos modos, dice la OMS, les resultará imposible porque el contagio va mucho más rápido que su capacidad de contabilizarlos. Según la OMS "la pandemia de influenza 2009 se ha diseminado a nivel internacional con una rapidez sin precedentes. En pandemias anteriores, los virus de la gripe necesitaron más de seis meses para diseminarse tan ampliamente como el nuevo virus A/H1N1 lo ha hecho en menos de seis semanas".

Muestran así otro factor clave de la pandemia: el aumento del trasiego global de bienes, animales, personas (y microbios), inherente al mercado mundial que necesitan las trasnacionales.

Para ese mercado se construyen los grandes megaproyectos de infraestructura y energía (autopistas, grandes represas, hidrovías), aumenta la deforestación y el avance de los grandes monocultivos agrícolas y forestales (con la consecuente expulsión de poblaciones rurales hacia las ciudades) destruyendo a su paso los hábitats naturales y su biodiversidad y por tanto, los competidores benéficos y enemigos naturales de los microorganismos patógenos. La concentración resultante de población en grandes centros urbanos –también útil para las ventas centralizadas de las trasnacionales–, carentes en su periferia de servicios básicos, crea condiciones ideales para la trasmisión en gran escala.

En todos los casos de epidemias y surgimiento de nuevos patógenos de las últimas décadas, tales como ébola, hantavirus, virus del Nilo, nuevas cepas de malaria, dengue, VIH, hay por detrás algunos de esos factores. Hay disrupción de hábitats de animales silvestres que actúan como reservorios sin contraer la enfermedad, forzando su migración a zonas más pobladas; crean nuevos y abundantes criaderos de vectores de las enfermedades (como charcos de agua en zonas deforestadas que crían mosquitos como anófeles, vector de la malaria; proliferación de moluscos e insectos en las lagunas y ríos afectados por grandes represas debido a cambios de salinidad, aumentando exponencialmente los casos de leishmaniasis, esquistosomiasis, etcétera); cercanía de mega criaderos industriales de cerdos y pollos, etcétera.

A esto hay que sumar el creciente uso y manipulación industrial de virus y bacterias, que son utilizados, por ejemplo, para construir transgénicos, para producir sustancias químicas y farmacéuticas, todo ello factor de aceleración de mutaciones.

Las políticas fragmentarias y sobre síntomas, también aumentan la velocidad de mutación y su impacto. Las campañas de desinfección masiva y el aumento de uso de antibacteriales, eliminan los microorganismos más débiles, dejan espacio a los más resistentes y obligan a los virus a mutar más rápido. Las campañas de vacunación crean una inmunidad temporal que produce que las nuevas generaciones no tengan ninguna defensa natural frente a este virus, al tiempo que dejan nichos vacíos para otros virus –quizá una de las causas de por qué la población más joven muere más rápido con el virus de la influenza actual, emparentado con el de la gripe de 1918.

Aunque las autoridades pretendan obviarlo, porque cuestiona el sistema global y el lucro de las trasnacionales, ver las causas del desastre en toda su magnitud es una tarea imprescidible, así como apoyar a los que siguen sosteniendo la biodiversidad y la salud del ambiente y la naturaleza, como campesinos, indígenas y comunidades locales.

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The other “pandemic”


The food crisis that exploded in 2007–8 has not gone away. It is tightening its hold in many countries and threatening to rear its ugly head in the form of new price hikes later this year, according to experts. The United Nations estimates that more than one billion people are now permanently hungry. [5] That’s one in six people, every day – most of them in Asia (62%). According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the financial crisis alone added 104 million people to this pit. [6] And, in the words of their Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, 80% of the hungry are either farmers or farm labourers, those who produce our food. How can this have come about?

When you look at what has been done to address the food crisis, more than a year on, the picture is rather depressing. It is true that some governments have been open enough to invite farmers and social organisations into a planning process that would achieve some plurality of thinking. But in most places, the responses have been one-sided and top-down. As GRAIN documented amply last year, the food crisis has been misrepresented as basically a production problem, and all the answers amount to the same imperative: produce more food. In monopoly capitalist thinking, that means commercial seeds, vast uniform lands for monoculture, lots of chemicals and unfettered trade and investment routes. As a result, a lot of money is being thrown at this recipe to “feed the world”, even though that recipe got us here in the first place.

Throughout the latter part of 2008, donors and UN agencies called incessantly for “more investment in agriculture” as the solution to the food crisis. A lot of conferences were held and some pledges were made. [7] This year brought more of the same, though the funds are becoming more sophisticated. The French government has just set up, through the African Development Bank, a new private equity fund to invest in African agriculture. With a starting capital of €200 million and a goal of €500 million, the Agence Française de Développement will channel money from private investors and sovereign wealth funds into the new fund against a guaranteed rate of return of at least 5%. The African Development Bank is putting its own capital into private equity funds, such as Agri-Vie, to spur agribusiness ventures on the continent; the Asian Development Bank is doing the same. [8] The World Bank is increasing its agricultural spending from US$4 billion in 2008 to US$12 billion in 2009–10. [9] At the same time, its commercial arm, the International Finance Corporation, has teamed up with Altima Partners to create a US$75-million fund to invest in agribusiness “to increase food supplies”. [10]

It is true that more donors are talking about the importance of small farmers and family farms in this new investment rush. A number are aware that large-scale plantation-type agriculture is likely to bring environmental and socio-economic problems. A few are even specifically concerned about threats to biodiversity from monocultures and genetically modified (GM) seeds. But the big picture is that most of this food crisis money is being targeted to develop agribusiness in developing countries, not family farming or local community-oriented markets, which many believe are the only way forward if people are to feed themselves well. The same is true of the massive land-grab deals being pushed to produce basic food crops abroad. [11]

With all of this going on, the impression may linger that these official initiatives to end the world food crisis amount to public money for public benefit. This impression should be dispelled. In reality, most of the investment is going into agribusiness development. There’s a barrage of new agribusiness funds and investment vehicles that do things like channel pension savings into farmland across the world, drawing in the big pool of dollars desperately seeking alternatives to stocks. The agricultural adviser to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) recently stated that foreign investor interest in African farming is so strong today that it is “almost a social movement”. [12] Overall private sector figures are hard to come by, but in the meantime we can see that official development assistance itself is increasingly going private. All these funds and programmes emphasise getting corporate seeds, a handful of Western livestock breeds, and crop chemicals (especially fertilisers) on to the fields, so it is not hard to see who the big winners are. The agricultural input suppliers must be rubbing their hands with glee over these new indirect subsidies.

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sábado, julio 18, 2009

Washington & the Coup in Honduras: Here is the Evidence

By Eva Golinger
15 July 2009

[aquí está en Español]

• The Department of State had prior knowledge of the coup.

• The Department of State and the US Congress funded and advised the actors and organizations in Honduras that participated in the coup.

• The Pentagon trained, schooled, commanded, funded and armed the Honduran armed forces that perpetrated the coup and that continue to repress the people of Honduras by force.

• The US military presence in Honduras, that occupies the Soto Cano (Palmerola) military base, authorized the coup d’etat through its tacit complicity and refusal to withdraw its support of the Honduran military involved in the coup.

• The US Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, coordinated the removal from power of President Manuel Zelaya, together with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon y John Negroponte, who presently works as an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

• From the first day the coup occurred, Washington has referred to “both parties” involved and the necessity for “dialogue” to restore constitutional order, legitimizing the coup leaders by regarding them as equal players instead of criminal violators of human rights and democratic principles.

• The Department of State has refused to legally classify the events in Honduras as a “coup d’etat”, nor has it suspended or frozen its economic aid or commerce to Honduras, and has taken no measures to effectively pressure the de facto regime.

• Washington manipulated the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to buy time, therefore allowing the coup regime to consolidate and weaken the possibility of President Zelaya’s immediate return to power, as part of a strategy still in place that simply seeks to legitimate the de facto regime and wear down the Honduran people that still resist the coup.

• Secretary of State Clinton and her spokesmen stopped speaking of President Zelaya’s return to power after they designated Costa Rican president Oscar Arias as the “mediator” between the coup regime and the constitutional government; and now the State Department refers to the dictator that illegally took power during the coup, Roberto Micheletti, as the “interim caretaker president”.

• The strategy of “negotiating” with the coup regime was imposed by the Obama administration as a way of discrediting President Zelaya – blaming him for provoking the coup – and legitimizing the coup leaders.

• Members of the US Congress – democrats and republicans – organized a visit of representatives from the coup regime in Honduras to Washington, receiving them with honors in different arenas in the US capital.

• Despite the fact that originally it was Republican Senator John McCain who coordinated the visit of the coup regime representatives to Washington through a lobby firm connected to his office, The Cormac Group, now, the illegal regime is being representated by top notch lobbyist and Clinton attorney Lanny Davis, who is using his pull and influence in Washington to achieve overall acceptance – cross party lines – of the coup regime in Honduras.

• Otto Reich and a Venezuelan named Robert Carmona-Borjas, known for his role as attorney for the dictator Pedro Carmona during the April 2002 coup d’etat in Venezuela, aided in preparing the groundwork for the coup against President Zelaya in Honduras.

• The team designated from Washigton to design and help prepare the coup in Honduras also included a group of US ambassadors recently named in Central America, experts in destabilizing efforts against the Cuban revolution, and Adolfo Franco, ex administrator for USAID’s Cuba “transition to democracy” program.

No one doubts that the fingerprints of Washington are all over the coup d’etat against President Manuel Zelaya that began last June 28th. Many analysts, writers, activists and even presidents, have denounced this role. Nevertheless, the majority coincide in excusing the Obama Administration from any responsibility in the Honduran coup, blaming instead the lingering remains of the Bush-Cheney era and the war hawks that still pace the halls of the White House. The evidence demonstrates that while it is certain that the usual suspects who perpetrate coups and destabilization activities in Latin America are involved, ample proof exists confirming the direct role of the new administration in Washington in the Honduran coup.


jueves, julio 16, 2009


The nominee has a troubling record on criminal justice and immigration cases. So why are liberals cheering?

Sonia Sotomayor's all-but-certain confirmation will be a notable victory for Democrats, and for the cause of diversity on the nation's highest court. Whether it will be a victory for criminal justice is another question—one that seems to matter little to most of her liberal supporters.

Long before her Senate confirmation hearings began, progressive politicians, lawyers, scholars, activists, and bloggers had joined together, almost in one voice, to sing Sotomayor’s praises. Beyond predictable paeans to her qualifications and her inspiring personal story, the accolades didn't focus on Sotomayor's passion for justice, her moral rectitude, or even her much-discussed “empathy.” Instead, congressional Democrats and their allies have banded together to celebrate how thoroughly indistinguishable Sonia Sotomayor is from a Republican judge.

In their zeal to show that she is a “moderate,” Sotomayor’s liberal supporters are downplaying all her most compelling qualities, while lauding her most conservative decisions. She has rejected the majority of racial discrimination claims, they crow, and sent most immigrants packing. On criminal justice matters, she is somewhere to the right of the man she will replace, Daddy Bush appointee David Souter. The very facts that ought to make progressives cringe are instead being extolled as Sotomayor's greatest virtues, since they are the things that render her eminently "confirmable."

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Senior Obama Official Backs Cheney and C.I.A., Says Concealment of Assassin Program Legal

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair’s comments contradict the assertions of several leading Democrats that laws were broken.

By Jeremy Scahill

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to hold hearings to investigate the role of vice president Dick Cheney in allegedly ordering the C.I.A. to conceal a secret assassination program from Congress. As I reported yesterday, there are two crucial issues at play: the nature of the U.S. assassination program and the role of former vice president Dick Cheney in concealing aspects of it from Congressional oversight. On the broader issue of U.S. government assassination, it is very unlikely that will become a central focus given that there has long been a bipartisan assassination program that continues under President Obama. Indeed, most legislators frame their opposition to this program through the lens of the concealment issue, not the assassinations.

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Los foros mundiales del agua

Freddy Pacheco
Catedrático UNA

Con el cuento de la tal “Gestión integrada del recurso hídrico” que sirve de mampara al Banco Mundial y la GWP (Asociación Mundial del Agua) para sus procesos de privatización del recurso hídrico, los promotores del agua como bien económico, introducen en legislaciones nacionales esa turbia terminología para abrir camino a los intereses supremos de las transnacionales del agua.

Y son tan hábiles (algunos más bien dirán cínicos) que cada tres años invierten millones de dólares para reunir en países como México y Turquía (el próximo se anuncia en Francia) a miles de incautos y otros no tan incautos, en un “Foro” imposible para intercambiar opiniones y proponer resoluciones, como sucediera el pasado marzo en Estambul.

Y es que no se pueden hacer, discutir y resolver propuestas, ante 30 mil o 40 mil turistas del agua, repartidos, según sus “categorías”, en hoteles cinco estrellas y hoteluchos, de donde se dictan las antes “cocinadas” resoluciones que esos miles de invitados anónimos ni siquiera llegan a conocer… pero que avalan con su presencia casi virtual.

De esa forma se aprobó la iniciativa que permitiría la creación del “Centro del Agua para América Latina y el Caribe”, que según los mandamases del Foro, fue seleccionada entre más de 180 ponencias de todo el mundo.

Iniciativa que no era ni más ni menos que el plan de una de las más grandes transnacionales del recurso agua (la Coca Cola) que, con la bendición del BID, busca garantizarse para sus lucrativos negocios, la disponibilidad del preciado y cada vez más escaso líquido.

Así, mientras cada día mueren unos 4000 niños menores de 5 años a causa de enfermedades relacionadas con el agua, y la OMS estima que más de 1000 millones de personas carecen de acceso a fuentes de agua adecuadas, hay unos pocos privilegiados del libre comercio que cierran sus ojos ante esta dramática realidad y se prestan sin pena alguna para actuar como “asesores” en las comparsas financiadas por los dueños del grannegocio del agua.

Es gente que vive del agua, de su burocracia, de sus organizaciones presentadas como regionales, de consultorías, de los tallercillos y capacitaciones, de sus asesorías legales, de los simposios.

El reconocimiento de un Comité de la ONU del “Derecho Humano” al agua ha de garantizar a todas las personas agua en cantidad suficiente, en condiciones de seguridad y aceptabilidad, físicamente accesible y asequible para usos personales y domésticos, lo que contradice los intereses de los directores de la comparsa que se mueve al son del agua como bien económico. Por ello, se producen “Foros Alternativos” al comercial y se aboga, ahora con mayor energía, por llevar la discusión seria e independiente al seno de las Naciones Unidas, dejando para los negociantes, cancerberos y adláteres, sus desprestigiados foros, como el perfumado que se planea llevar a los palacios de Marsella, y para el cual desde ya se frotan sus manos los acuosos turistas consuetudinarios.

El tema es de relevancia para los costarricenses pues esos mismos intereses parecen haberse hecho evidentes a propósito de la propuesta de una nueva ley de aguas, en la que “asesores” nacionales no solo eliminaron el anteriormente propuesto carácter de Derecho Humano, sino que también pretenden sustituir al débil Senara por un ente de carácter cuasi-privado, al tiempo que “ningunean” al AyA. Texto “mejorado” muy bueno para la GWP, el Banco Mundial, el BID y la Coca Cola internacional, pero muy malo para el pueblo costarricense, que gracias a esos intereses hoy no tiene futuro en la Asamblea Legislativa.

Por lo señalado, instamos a nuestras autoridades gubernamentales para que den seguimiento y apoyen decididamente los esfuerzos internacionales por estructurar, en el marco de la ONU, un “Foro Mundial del Agua”, libre de “contaminantes”, al que NO acudirían los que, por años han representado en Costa Rica los intereses comerciales de los que lucran con el agua “bendita”.

Fuente: Seminario Universidad



martes, julio 14, 2009

Película el próximo 15 de julio


El miércoles 15 de julio a las 7 pm se presentará en El Local en Santurce el documental francés LE MONDE SELON MONSANTO (El mundo según Monsanto). La película es en inglés- lo siento, no hemos podido conseguirla en español. Será precedido por una presentación por Carmelo Ruiz Marrero, director del Proyecto de Bioseguridad de Puerto Rico. Estén pendientes para más detalles.

Para más información sobre este extraordinario documental:

Entrevista con la cineasta en español:
En francés:

El Local en Santurce es un lugar extrañísimo y super cool en la avenida Fdez Juncos cerca del cruce con el xpreso Las Américas.,

On Facebook: Ruiz Marrero
On Twitter: carmeloruiz

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lunes, julio 13, 2009

PUERTO RICO: Video sobre nefasta ley de permisos, primera de tres partes

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domingo, julio 12, 2009


The Oakland Institute Reporter

A New Briefing Paper From the Oakland Institute Questions the G8's Political Intent to Combat Hunger

This briefing paper was first published by the Foreign Policy in Focus

Oakland, CA: The latest G8 extravaganza in L'Aquila, Italy from July 8-10, 2009 will highlight a new initiative to fight hunger that seeks a more coordinated approach to food aid and development. Reports suggest that the United States will announce a "significant" increase in funding for agricultural development aid along with multi-year commitments from other G8 countries to reach a $15 billion target that will be pooled in a global agriculture and food security trust fund and administered by the World Bank.

Proposals to challenge hunger have become a key agenda item at international conferences since the 2008 food crisis. The G8's performance on past commitments, however, casts a shadow on the sincerity of its intentions. At the height of the 2008 food crisis, G8 leaders highlighted food security at their summit in Hokkaido, Japan. The summit cost over $600 million - compared to the $400 million annual budget of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with nearly half of the budget spent on a massive security operation involving some 21,000 police officers, coast guard, and soldiers. With much fanfare, the G8 communiqué on global food security committed $10 billion for food and agricultural aid to increase agricultural production in developing countries. Despite the media glitz around the announcement, this was not new money, but a mere adding up of aid already pledged by the G8 countries. The G8 communiqué also made a commitment to "reverse the overall decline of aid and investment in the agricultural sector..." But the commitment failed to list any specific dollar amounts and with no timeline. Similarly, at the 2005 summit, the G8 promised to double aid to Africa by 2010, but members have failed to fulfill their pledges.

Despite commitments, pledges, and grandiose communiqués by rich nations to challenge hunger, 2009 has witnessed a historic high in hunger - 1.02 billion people are estimated to go hungry every day. The problem lies in the fallacy of explanations offered to explain the hunger crisis and in the promotion of market and technology-based solutions. The latest G8 effort is more of the same. Recommendations that focus on sustainability and boosting poor peoples incomes have yet to make it to the G8 agenda. If the G8 is indeed committed to ending hunger, the member countries must stop the steady drumbeat of proselytizing for free markets and technological solutions to hunger and instead implement the findings and recommendations of IAASTD, for instance. More important, a genuine commitment will require recognizing the need for developing countries to have policy space to determine agricultural policies that meet the needs of their populations; implement a genuine agrarian reform that will ensure farmers' rights to land, water, seeds and other resources; ensure that the local products are competitive; see that farmers' livelihoods and incomes are sustained; and assure national food security. In short, instead of promoting their old failed "development" formulas in new clothing, the G8 need to take responsibility and support governments in developing countries to put in place or restore sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

For more information contact Anuradha Mittal (510) 469-5228


sábado, julio 11, 2009

From the Food First web site:

The Farmers’ Organizations of Africa Open Letter to G8

The major world powers have created the food and climate crises and should not be the ones to decide global food policies.

The four regional networks of farmers’ organizations (EAFF, PROPAC, ROPPA, UMAGRI) that represent tens of millions of African Farmers have sent an open letter to the G8. They say that the major world powers should not be the ones to decide global food policies. These countries have created the climate and financial crises, and they have implemented the structural adjustment policies and created the Bretton Woods financial institutions that have allowed multinational corporations to hobble rural people in Africa.

The G8 are thus largely responsible for the current global food crisis and now they want to “solve” it with industrial export agriculture, GMOs, and chemical inputs. This open letter declares that it is time for Africans to take charge of agricultural and trade policies, and recognize family farming as the route to food sovereignty in Africa.

African_Farmers_G8_Declaration.pdf147.37 KB

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