ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

21 March 2002


3. WORLD: UN promotes organic production in developing world



From: "mick davies" <> and Rowan Tilly

HOWZ ABOUT THAT THEN!  On 9 March an anti GM rally was held in Stratford on Avon before moving on to Long Marston where the field trial is being held. Never mind Shakespeare, it seems that Stratford is becoming a hot bed of radicalism?

Ten days before the GM rally, and having publicised our event wide and far as taking place at Stratford Town Hall, the Town Council got cold feet and pulled out. They stated they wish to remain "impartial" on the issue. We had to move to nearby King Edward VI (kes) School.

On the day of the Rally at last things ran smoothly with stalls, a giant bee, an exhibition of anti-GM art by Emily Johns and videos with about a hundred and fifty people attending.  Of course there were expert speakers to raise public awareness, who were excellent: Dr. John Latham who is a genetic scientist, Becky Price from GeneWatch, Helena Paul from EcoNexus, Rowan Tilly who is a GM crop puller and a representative from the Totnes Anti-GM Roadshow.

On leaving the hall a samba band led our procession to the coaches, which then took us to Long Marston, where once again the band led our procession through the  village.

A handful of police were ready to welcome us when we arrived to inspect the GM trial site.  After handing out some warnings about the dangers of trespassing and damaging property they stood and watched as about thirty of us wearing white biohazard suits spend about an hour decontaminating the trial.  It was hard work pulling up smallish plants from heavy wet clay but the samba band kept an encouraging rhythm going.  After half an hour had passed about twenty police reinforcements arrived and arrested five people for criminal damage. Once these arrests had taken place, the police seemed content to leave us to our own devices. Several GM crop pullers remained on the site and entertained the police with an elegantly choreographed Mexican wave followed by a deep sweeping bow.  If there had not been time constraints for the coaches we could have carried on pulling GM rape well into the night.

It was a fun family day out, enjoyed by all, finishing with tea and cake served in the Village Hall by the Womens' Institute - even the cops came in for some refreshments. What a nerve?

Those arrested were released that night on police bail to return to Leamington Spa Police Station from 9 am on 11 April.  Those arrested were welcomed by supporters and taken to enjoy warm hospitality offered by a local woman.



Calgary Herald, March 21, 2002 [via Agnet]

According to this story, a growing body of evidence is saying that organic food will save the Canadian family farm

International demand for organic and non-genetically modified organism crops (non-GMO) is exploding. Markets for Canadian GMO products are diminishing. As of 2001, Canada was one of only four countries that grow 99 per cent of the world's GMO crops. The story says that Canada is also one of the few large agricultural producers lacking stringent restrictions pertaining to the labeling, growing and trade of GMO foods.

Recently, the European Union, Korea, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, India have all reduced or banned their imports of GMO product and Canadian farmers growing GMO crops for export already find themselves hunting for customers.

International demand for non -GMO products is booming. Brazil's non-GMO corn exports are garnering $6-7 more in premiums per ton than U.S.

The story goes on to say that by purchasing organic foods, you are supporting the Canadian economy and are encouraging the government to abandon its blind and uninformed faith in biotechnology.

Increased sales in organic foods have already influenced government policy and spending.


3. WORLD: UN promotes organic production in developing world

21 Mar 2002
Source: editorial team

International organisations including the FAO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are considering the formation of a task force that would help developing countries establish administrative regimes guaranteeing that their locally produced organic foods were made without artificial aids.

UNCTAD is promoting organic production in poor countries, because its labour intensity and lack of expensive chemical inputs matches their economic realities. However, their exports are being hampered by new regulations, especially in the EU, which demand proof that  organic produce is free of residues from fertilisers, pesticides and growth hormones, evidence that bureaucratic systems often cannot deliver in the developing world.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent

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