We are creating a network of citizens, farmers, producers, experts, movements and institutions committed in creating poison free organic zones and local ecological food system, that rejuvenate biodiversity, the soil and water, that create climate resilience and climate stability, that protect the health and well being of our children and the heirs of all species.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your ideas and work, as well as issues, projects and actions in your community, and learn more on how to get involved.
On 1st October 2017, at Bhoomi, the Earth festival in New Delhi, communities from the Himalaya who have been practising chemical free organic farming joined with Communities in the Alps who have become pesticides free to launch the creation of a Global Network of Poison Free Organic communities and Zones. The Chief Minister of Sikkim who has made Sikkim the first 100% organic state in the world, and Mayor Ulrich of Mals who have made his village poison free, were part of the launch of the poison free network.
Poison based industrial agriculture, not only is the biggest driver of species extinction, wiping out the diversity of crops we have grown and eaten, pushing insects to extinction, including bees and butterflies that pollinate our crops, and give us one third of the food we eat, chemical farming and industrial agriculture is also contributing to 50% of the greenhouse gases leading to climate change. Poisons in our food are also leading to a disease epidemic that is plaguing people everywhere.
Biodiversity is essential to allow for evolution of Life on Earth and as such its capacity of adaptation. This diversity has been developed over thousands of generations and we have a duty is to safeguard it.We are members of the Earth family, not masters , owners We as humans do not have the right to exterminate our Earth relatives while closing the future for our children. When we push other species to extinction we are sowing the seeds of our own extinction.
Through poison free food and farming, we sow the seeds of Earth Democracy – of Seed Freedom, Food Freedom, Earth Freedom, for a brighter future for all beings, including our children, on our living, vibrant and generous Earth.
FOOD FOR HEALTH
The Food for Health Campaign aims at highlighting the inseparable link between food and health, developing comprehensive strategies in synergy with different stakeholders, to overcome the model of industrial agriculture, encouraging the convergence and action of the movement for Agroecology and Public Health movements to reach a common vision of sustainable development, which must be equitable and inclusive.
Download the Manifesto “Food for Health”
Why is this important?
How we produce, distribute, consume food is increasingly becoming the centre of the multiple crises we face today. Whether it is ecological crises of biodiversity decline, climate change or the health crisis of hunger, malnutrition and the spate of diseases like cancer linked to pesticides and toxics in our environment and food chain.
The root of the problem is a growing dependence on a dysfunctional paradigm that depends on pesticides and economies of scale to accelerate the quantities of food produced, but at the expense of nutritional quality, causing a wide variety of detrimental impacts on health as well as the ecosystem. Evidence of the toxic consequences of the policies of agrichemical mega corporations, which we call the Poison Cartel, is growing by the day: species are disappearing, small farmers are losing their livelihoods, rural populations are being driven from their land to make way for industrial agriculture, and consumers increasingly have no option other than to buy food grown in increasingly contaminated soils.
But there exists an alternative approach to food security that is based on biodiversity, combines quantity and quality, to maximise the benefits to the health and well being of the planet and people. The ecological paradigm of agriculture, food, nutrition and health is based on a systems approach that is displacing the current experiences and trends toward degradation with policies, practices, and knowledge that ensures renewal, a revived reliance on the health potentialities of the natural food systems, working toward harmony with nature, food sovereignty and seed resilience in the hands of farmers, as well as local food econmies, which can sow the seeds of justice, dignity, sustainability, peace and true democracy.
The transition towards local, ecological and diverse food systems is a social, economic and democratic imperative
Road map: the route towards transformation
- Save grow and reproduce traditional seed varieties to safeguard biodiversity. They need to be saved not as museum pieces in germplasm banks, but in living Seed Banks as a basis of a health care system.
- Grow Gardens of Health , also at urban level, which favour the diffusion of nourishing varieties.
- Create and support local food economies, farmers markets, CSAs, biodistricts.
- Create links between Schools, Hospitals, health care centres and local organic fresh, diverse food systems.
- Create poison free zones, communities, farms and food systems.
- Demand labelling of chemicals and GMOs on the basis of fundamental right to know.
- Organise to demand that public money and taxes stop subsidising unhealthy food systems that create a burden of disease for us and shift all public support including policy to health promoting agriculture and food.
- Do not co-operate with laws that force unhealthy agriculture and food system.
Find out more: Road map: the route towards transformation: Civic Actions – Government Actions – Local, regional, national, international – Changes in the International Trade Rules and Systems: Responsibility of the United Nations and its relevant bodies
RESOURCES FOR ACTION
Related Reports and Scientific Studies
In December 2018, citizens’ committees of Italy, which organized the Stop Pesticides March (Marcia Stop Pesticidi) in previous years, along with other civil society movements, created the “Stop Pesticides March” coordination task force, and decided that this year’s Stop Pesticides March Day will take place on 19 May.
In December 2018 in Goiás, Brazil, civil society movements from ten countries, along with family farmers, indigenous communities, scholars and professionals in various fields created a Latin American network to combat agrotoxics and promote agroecology, during the 1st International – 3rd National Seminar on Agrochemicals: Socio-environmental Impacts and Human Rights. In the document extracted from the meeting, the Letter of Goiás (Carta de Goiás) participants denounce the social and environmental reality of their countries, the impacts of the agro-industrial model, as well as corporate control on governments and its consequences, which require urgent measures.
In November 2018, a panel debate took place in Berlin, Germany: Visions for Agriculture 2050, with Vandana Shiva, president of Navdanya International and Norbert Lemken, head of the agriculture politics department of Bayer AG. The heated discussion centered mainly on the opposing views of the speakers. Norbert Lemken defined the discussion as “challenging”.
During the first week of October 2018, Navdanya organized and hosted a wide series of events celebrating biodiversity at its Biodiversity Farm in India. The celebrations began with the Women’s Biodiversity Festival, where Diverse Women of the world planted Seeds of Freedom and Gardens of Hope, and communities from India and other parts of the globe cooked the diversity of breads and traditional dishes from around the world to launch “Our Bread, Our Freedom” campaign, to defend and promote traditional, indigenous foods, which are the expression of a value chain that works for nature and for the health and dignity of people. At the International Biodiversity Congress, held in Dehradun, Navdanya joined forces with women seed savers and organic leaders from the Himalayan Region to launch the movement for a Biodiverse Organic Himalaya, partnering with Pawan Kumar Chamling, the chief minister of Sikkim.
In October 2018, over 110 Civil Society Organisations in Europe launched the Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation, the coalition of calling for a more rigorous implementation of EU standards in pesticides regulation. The new coalition is calling for a reform of the current pesticide risk assessment and risk management system, the application of the ‘precautionary principle’ to ensure that decision makers rely on data that is complete, public, up to date and free from industrial bias. It has launched a manifesto which calls upon European regulators to urgently reform the current pesticide risk assessment and risk management system, and suggests practical solutions to the major failings. Click here to join the coaltion.
Navdanya is working with the community of Mals in Northern Italy which became the first place on Earth to ban pesticides by a referendum vote. Their colourful, courageous and ultimately savvy campaign is being heralded around the world as a landmark effort in the fight for toxic-free food and agriculture systems – and a model for other locales, near and far. Also read: Bhoomi 2017: Listening to the Mountains & Launch of Poison-free Food and Farming Campaign.
In August 2018, Navdanya launched the Anna Swaraj (Food Sovereignty) movement in India to make a collective commitment to quit poisons and chemicals in our food and disseminate knowledge on right nutrition, to decrease food and nutrition illiteracy so that we make informed choices on what we serve and eat as food. India’s food culture provides us with all the nutrition which we require to lead a healthy life. Join The Anna Swaraj Movement.
For the second year running since it began, a series of actions was co-organized in Germany. It kicked off in Düsseldorf with the “March Against Monsanto, Bayer & BASF” on May 19 and was followed, in Bonn, on May 24, by a press conference and a panel debate, organized by IFOAM – Organics International in cooperation with the Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers and Navdanya International. Farmers movements, environmental groups, trade unions and students organizations converged on May 25 at a protest in front of WCCB in Bonn, where the annual Bayer’s shareholders’ meeting was held. CSO’s representatives were also able to speak at the meeting inside the building.
In May 2018, Navdanya International convened a Working Group of Experts, in continuation of the work of the International Commission on Future of Food and Agriculture, for a 2-day gathering in Florence, Italy, to brainstorm ideas and contributions, and streamline the vision and concept structure which would be the base for the drafting of the Manifesto “Food for Health: Cultivating Biodiversity, Cultivating Health”. Members of the group of experts are: Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus at Princeton University, Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, Mira Shiva, Director, Initiative for Health and Equity in Society, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, food ecology expert and former Environment and Climate Division at FAO, Patrizia Gentilini and Renata Alleva, International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) Scientific Committee, Salvatore Ceccarelli, International expert in Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Piero Bevilacqua, Author, Sociologist, Historian, Sapienza University of Rome, Guy D’hallewin, Coordinator at CNR – ISPA UOS Sassari, Sergio Bernasconi, former Head of Paediatric Clinic of the University of Parma, Lucio Cavazzoni, former president of Alce Nero (organic food & products) and bee-keeper. The Italian Edition of the Manifesto on Food for Health was presented at Sana, in Bologna, Italy, on 9 September 2018. An alliance of multi-disciplinary actors took root out of the Food for Health experts’ meetings, with the aim of spurring global dialogue and action towards building healthy food systems.
A series of conferences and meeting was organised by Navdanya International in collaboration with local partners in Florence, Italy, in January 2018. Particular focus was given to the commitment we must make to implement ecological solutions, such as caring for the soil, seeds and biodiversity as the essential basis for solving most of the crises we are facing, and the schism between politics, which should be in the interests of citizens, and the present economic unsustainable and exploitative model, as well as on the main threats to our democracy and freedom, such as Free Trade Agreements and Corporate Mergers and how these will affect the future of agriculture and food. Among the issues discussed, specific focus was given to the impact of globalization, which has progressively reduced the commons, including seeds and food, into commodities at the mercy of market fluctuations.
In October 2017, Navdanya and JAGA Indonesia organized the mobilization tour “Celebrating Seed Freedom & Agroecology” in collaboration with local partners to lay the ground for a transition towards an agroecological food system for food sovereignty, nutrition, climate resilience and economic security. Of major importance were 3 agroecology practical training workshops which covered among other things, natural pest management. Using traditional knowledge Mr. Negi, Navdanya’s farmers’ training coordinator, showed how in any natural environment it is possible to find the resources and ingredients to both control pests and weeds, as well as to regenerate soil fertility.
On 1st October 2017, in New Delhi, India, Navdanya brought together communities from the Alps, represented by Ulrich Veith, Mayor of the pesticide-free village of Mals in Northern Italy, and communties from the Himalaya that are chemical free, to pledge to use the gifts of nature and their shared knowledge and culture, for a world free of poisons – thereby taking a pledge on Poison free Communities for each one of us to be part of a Global Network of Poison Free Organic Zones.
In lead to the G7 to be held in Begamo, Italy, Navdanya International joined BioDistretto Agricoltura Sociale Bergamo, Coldiretti Bergamo and Confagricoltura Bergamo with the support of Bergamo Muncipality and Province in a series of workshops and conferences. What Navdanya underlined was how, from the experience of Bergamo with “biodistretti” (ecological districts) and the “social agricultural” models, an international network of communities, regions and cities can be created, which are able to affirm a new ecological paradigm based on circular economy.
In October 2017, in continuation of the work started in 2015 with Terra Viva, Navdanya International conducted a workshop in Rome, Italy, in collaboration with a a coalition of scientists, activists, lawyers, journalists, farmers, agronomists and concerned citizen from Sardinia. The workshop was focused on analysing the links between the way our food is produced and our health and the importance of promoting and creating poison-free agriculture and food systems, as well as how seed diversity and biodiversity conservation are the basis for good nutrition and represent the most significant indicators of environmental health.
At the National Heirloom Exposition of September 2017 in California, Navdanya launched its new report “The Toxic Story of RoundUp: Freedom from the Poison Cartel through Agroecology” to highlight the imperative of consolidating a global movement for creating a network of biodiverse, poison-free, organic agriculture throughout the world. Grassroots movements in California have created a coalition to ban the use of RoundUp on state properties in 2017 and an ongoing campaign against pesticides.
The collaboration with environmental and scientific movements across Costa Rica started in 2014 has led, in 2017, to mobilizing a national campaign to “detoxify” communities and public places which are leading to many herbicides-free zones.
The conference “Poisons at the Door: Food, health and environmental risks in the new global market“, took place in Rome, Italy, in July 2017 and was organised by Navdanya International and Esc Communications under the patronage of Council for the Environment of the Municipality of Rome. Participants in the panel debate were institutional representatives in charge of environmental issues, eminent scientist Dr Patrizia Gentilini, as well as representatives of Civil Society movements on the forefront in the defense of human and environmental rights.
In May in Rome, Italy, Navdanya launched the Report on Glyphosate and other poisons in Italian – (Il Veleno e’ servito: glifosato e altri veleni dai campi alla tavola), in collaboration with A Sud e CDCA. It has been produced in the context of both the imminent decision in the European Parliament on glyphosate license renewal and as part of the Navdanya global campaign against the Poison Cartel. The report describes how the whole agriculture industrialization process is based on the myth that it is through this system alone of production intensification that we will be able to feed the increasing world population and get rid of the hunger in the world.
In 2017, as a follow up of the work carried out in The Hague at the People’s Assembly, movements and organisations from 30 countries around the world gathered at the 2017 International meetings of resistances against GMOs in Lorient, France, where an International Front of resistances to GMOs and Agrichemicals was created and joint strategies against the corporate hijack of our seeds and the poisoning of our food were defined.
A global mobilization took place throughout 2017, and saw movements across the world organising multiple actions, including the Europe-wide movement to Stop Glyphosate, which initiated the European Citizen’s Initiative to Stop Glyphosate, reform EU procedures for the approval of pesticides and promote a new model of agriculture based on ecological methods. In less than five months, more than one million EU citizens joined the ECI. In spite of this strong opposition from civil society, in November 2017, the EU Appeal Committee approved the renewal of glyphosate license for 5 years, but the long and controversial process preceding this decision highlighted the deceitful strategies implemented by industry to keep its products on the market, as amply illustrated by some investigations, such as Monsanto Papers.
In November 2016, Navdanya – along with other civil society movements organised a People’s Assembly against Dow/DuPont in Bhopal, India. This was an assessment of Dow/DuPont’s crimes in terms of having committed genocide and ecocide. There are many cases being fought against Dow by the people of Bhopal, demanding justice for their losses and demanding to make the company liable for crimes against the people of Bhopal and to make sure no corporation in the world can get away with such heinous crimes.
At The Hague, in October 2016, a People’s Assembly at the Monsanto Tribunal was organised in The Hague, Netherlands, by Navdanya International, along with multiple citizens’ movements from across the world. The process of holding the Poison Cartel accountable for its crimes is the culmination of 30 years of scientific, legal, social, and political work by movements, concerned citizens and scientists, and brought out the evidence on the dangers and impacts of pesticides, particularly glyphosate based herbicides, such as RoundUp, significantly contributing in raising attention on the issue in the international debate and at the institutional level.
As part of the Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly build-up actions, Navdanya co-organised and participated in conferences and events and organized workshops all over the world. More than 110 initiatives took place in 28 countries to join forces and collectively defend our Seed Freedom, Food Freedom and Democratic Rights to shape the future of food that protects life on Earth and the well-being of all.
In October 2016, a popular meeting took place in Rome, Italy, as a platform to talk, discuss and find alternatives to our agrochemical system.
In September 2016 “People’s Tribunals for Food Sovereignty (Tribunal de los Pueblos por la Soberanía Alimentaria)” took place across Argentina, to make visible the endless environmental problems caused by chemical agriculture as well as an agroecology fair with workshops and discussions regarding the Monsanto Tribunal.
In September 2016, in India, over 124 farmer groups, scientists, senior lawyers and activist joined with Navdanya to organise a national All India People’s Assembly against GM Mustard. Altogether the various groups represented over 10 million farmers, along with millions of other Indians.
In India, in August 2016, a Monsanto Quit India action took place at Allahbad. The citizens of Allahabad burnt effigies of poison making corporations like Monsanto responsible for food style diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes. This was an attempt to spread awareness of these companies and a call for their total boycott all over India.
In June 2016, on the occasion of the 3rd International Environmental Film Festival, Dr Vandana Shiva gave several talks, intervened in panel debates, including an address at the Argentina Senate during the meeting of the Commission for the Environment and sustainable development. The Festival became a unique space and opportunity for civil society organizations, associations, environmental lawyers’ groups, doctors and activists to share knowledge, propagate information and strategize actions both at the local level as well as on the international level through the presence of a broad Argentinean delegation at the People’s Assembly & Monsanto Tribunal at The Hague.
In May 2016, people and organisations from all over the world attended the 16th Seed Festival at Peliti, Greece where several workshops were held on the upcoming Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly in The Hague.
Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Resilience: How Biodiversity and Agroecology offer Solutions to Climate Change by Growing Living Carbon