Support campaigns and organisations

There is lots going on in the campaign against GMOs in the UK, Latin America, North America, and around the world. If you want to learn more about these issues and join other groups and campaigns promoting a different food system, here are some groups who are doing just that:

  • Via Campesina – The international peasants’ voice, a global movement that supports small-scale farmers and opposes corporate driven agriculture. viacampesina.org/en
  • European Food Declaration – A coalition of European environmetal groups pressing for a more fair and equal agricultural policy based on sustainability rather than profit. www.europeanfooddeclaration.org
  • GM Freeze – UK pressure group campaigning for better regulation of GM in UK and European food industry, fighting to keep GM out of our food and our fields. www.gmfreeze.org/actions
  • Food and Water Watch – US based independent watchdog working to keep food and water supplies safe, accessible and sustainable. www.foodandwaterwatch.org
  • Friends of the Earth – Major environmental group, working to protect the environment and build sustainable societies. www.foeeurope.org
  • Greenpeace – Major environmental group with a history of high-profile campaigns. www.greenpeace.org.uk
  • Nyeleni Europe – European branch of the growing global food sovereignty movement. www.nyelenieurope.net
  • Centre for Food Safety – US movement to legislate against harmful agricultural practices and promote sustainability in farming. www.centerforfoodsafety.org
  • Navdanya – Indian campaign group in defence of small farmers and biodiversity, longstanding opponent of Monsanto and GM crops. www.navdanya.org/campaigns 
  • Seedy Sunday – UK seed bank and annual event, guides on growing and saving seeds www.seedysunday.org
  • Open Pollinated Seeds – Small group working practically in the UK to spread understanding of natural pollination www.open-pollinated-seeds.org.uk

Stay informed

The issue of GMOs is being intensely debated and it’s important to let governments and the big companies know we are watching. Here are a few websites where you can find more valuable, up to date information on the subject:

  • Grain – international research and networking to promote biodiversity and community control of food systems. www.grain.org
  • African Biodiversity Network – network of individuals and organisations strengthening community voices across Africa to defend biodiversity and autonomous, sustainable communities www.africanbiodiversity.org
  • European Coordination Via Campesina – multilingual site; news and articles from the European branch of Via Campesina, the global peasants’ movement www.eurovia.org
  • Soberania Alimentaria – revista sobre soberania alimentaria, biodiversidad y culturas www.soberaniaalimentaria.info
  • Biodiversidad America Latina – noticias y campañas en la defensa de biodiversidad y comunidades rurales en America Latina y El Caribe http://www.biodiversidadla.org/
  • Farm Land Grab – daily news site reporting on the global struggle between farmers and governments for agricultural land farmlandgrab.org
  • Mother Jones – non-profit newspaper with up-to-date environmental and political news www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott
  • Food Democracy Now! – actions and campaigns to overhaul the US food industry in favour of the environment, workers and consumers www.fooddemocracynow.org
  • Food and Water Watch – US based independent watchdog working to keep food and water supplies safe, accessible and sustainable.  www.foodandwaterwatch.org
  • Centre for Food Safety – US movement to legislate against harmful agricultural practices and promote sustainability in farming. www.centerforfoodsafety.org
  • War on Want – a report on food sovereignty (pdf) (disponível em Potuguese!) by War on Want, British political action group tackling global poverty www.waronwant.org/food-sovereignty-report

Other resources

New report – Celebrating African Rural Women: Custodians of Seed, Food and Traditional Knowledge for Climate Change Resilience

This report, by the Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, shows how African rural women hold the key to climate change resilience. It looks further at the importance of seeds and shows how women, as the traditional custodians of seed, play a central part in keeping agriculture strong and healthy, maintaining biodiversity and protecting our planet.

Read the full report here.

Video – Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds

Video – Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified SeedsThis live USA television interview of Dr. Vandana Shiva by Bill Moyers took place on 13 July.  In it, Vandana focuses on her vision of the interconnection between all life on the planet and related problems with corporate control of food and GM seeds.

See the full interview

New Biowatch Publication: Policy Brief: Securing Farmers’ Rights and Seed Sovereignty in South Africa

New Biowatch Publication: Policy Brief: Securing Farmers’ Rights and Seed Sovereignty in South AfricaBy Rachel Wynberg, Jaci van Niekerk, Rose Williams and Lawrence Mkhaliphi

Focusing on small-scale farmers, their indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices, and the traditional varieties that they grow, this Biowatch Policy Brief reviews farmers’ rights in South Africa and the extent to which policies, laws and practices support seed sovereignty and the conservation of agricultural biodiversity.

A collaborative effort between Biowatch and the Environmental Evaluation Unit at UCT, the objective of the Policy Brief is to help inform policy debate and so enable small-scale farmers to freely use, exchange and sell their seeds and have greater control over their food production and security. It also aims to stem the imposition on small-scale farmers of inappropriate, costly varieties that cannot be replanted from year to year due to intellectual property and technology restrictions. Read the Policy Brief Securing Farmers Rights and Seed Sovereignty in South Africa in full here.

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous; New report by genetic engineers

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous; New report by genetic engineersAren’t critics of genetically engineered food anti-science? Isn’t the debate over GMOs (genetically modified organisms) a spat between emotional but ignorant activists on one hand and rational GM-supporting scientists on the other?
A new report released today, “GMO Myths and Truths”, challenges these claims. The report presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms (GMOs).

Unusually, the initiative for the report came not from campaigners but from two genetic engineers who believe there are good scientific reasons to be wary of GM foods and crops.
One of the report’s authors, Dr Michael Antoniou of King’s College London School of Medicine in the UK, uses genetic engineering for medical applications but warns against its use in developing crops for human food and animal feed.

Dr Antoniou said: “GM crops are promoted on the basis of ambitious claims – that they are safe to eat, environmentally beneficial, increase yields, reduce reliance on pesticides, and can help solve world hunger. Download GMO Myths and Truths  full report here!

Seed Freedom – a global report on challenges faced by the seed sector. By Dr Vandana Shiva in collaboration with global experts

Seed Freedom – a global report on challenges faced by the seed sector. By Dr Vandana Shiva in collaboration with global expertsOver 100 authors have put their names to a damning report coordinated by Dr. Vandana Shiva, which looks into the reasons for our global food crisis and the root problems with the food industry today. The report blames the tightening of laws controlling the exchange and cross-pollination of seed, an ancient and natural process which keep our crops healthy and resilient. Speaking at the report launch, Dr. Shiva said ”there was a need to oppose [the seed laws] united at the global level”.

Worse still are the controversial TRIPS patenting laws which allow scientist to engineer, patent, and claim ownership of, whole varieties of seed. Dr. Shiva states that to patent life – in the form of engineered seeds – is ”ethically and ecologically unjustified”, and the report documents the far-reaching damage the practice is doing to biodiversity, food security and human health.

The villains are the giant, profit-hungry biotech industry, backed up by cash-strapped or ineffective governments who legislate in favour of their business. And the solution, says Dr. Shiva, can start in your garden or window-box!

The report was launched to begin Seed Freedom Fortnight (see below). Click to read the full Seed Freedom report.

Donate

DonateIf you’ve been inspired by Seeds of Freedom, and would like to help to plant seeds of change, you can support the work of the African Biodiversity Network and The Gaia Foundation by making a donation.

To make a donation please click here.