Featured Articles – Timeline of Events and Actions –
Poison Free Food and Farming Movement around the World – Videos
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The Poison-free Food and Farming 2030 Campaign is an invitation to women and young generations, citizens and people in institutions, indigenous people everywhere, farmers, producers and consumers of food, local communities north and south, from the local to the global, who are already mobilizing to defend the earth and future generations, to create a unified movement for change.
Join us in becoming one voice in our rich diversity, to create poison free organic zones and local ecological food systems, 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.
Link to: Timeline of Events and Actions
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 sovereignty 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 economies, which can sow the seeds of justice, dignity, sustainability, peace and true democracy.
Our work on Food for Health 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.
A Commitment to the Earth
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 Veith 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.
The transition towards local, ecological and diverse food systems is a social, economic and democratic imperative
Actions for Earth Democracy through Seed Freedom, Food Freedom, Earth Freedom
- Save grow and reproduce traditional seed varieties to safeguard biodiversity, not as museum pieces in gene banks, but in Living Seed Banks as a basis for a healthy planet and healthy people.
- Grow Gardens of Hope, Gardens of Health , also at urban level, which favour the diffusion of nourishing and healing plants.
- Create and support local food economies, farmers markets, CSAs, biodistricts, ecozones.
- 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.
- Get policies passed for a transition to poison free, fossil fuel free living economies at whatever level possible – local, regional, national.
- Protect and defend forests, grasslands and small farms which hold the climate solution in regeneration of biodiversity and chemical free organic practices
- Do not co-operate with laws that force unhealthy agriculture and food system.
- Create organic food communities through living democracy and living economies for the health of the planet and the health of people.
- Celebrate 2nd October (Gandhi’s birth anniversary) to 16th October (world food day) as days of action for Seed freedom, Food freedom & Earth freedom.
RESOURCES FOR ACTION
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
Related Reports and Scientific Studies
The War on Bugs, Will Allen, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008
The Myths of Safe Pesticides, Andre Leu, Acres U.S.A, 2014
TIMELINE OF EVENTS AND ACTIONS
Navdanya International, along with TerraChiama and more than 30 local civil society movements, is organising a conference in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, which will take place on 10 April 2019, on the theme “Biodiversity and Prosperity”. Speakers: Dr Vandana Shiva, President of Navdanya International and Prof Salvatore Ceccarelli, International expert in Agronomy and Plant Genetics, also member of Navdanya International’s Board.
On 26 March a Press Conference will be held at the Italian Chamber of Deputies on the issue of the alarming levels of pesticides use in the region of Veneto. Citizens’ committes will present a petition which demands the application of the Precautinary Principle and that people’s right to health is respected.
Following up the Press Conference held in Rome on 7 March, the San Giacomo Kindergarten Parents Boards obtained an order from the Mayor of Vittorio Veneto that requires that the controversial vineyard being planted near the kindergarten’s building, must be farmed with organic farming techniques.
In March 2019, on the very same days when the Court of Auditors ruled that the 2014 referendum against the use of pesticides of the municipality of Mals, South Tyrol, Italy, was not to be implemented, the results of an investigation carried out by the Munich Environment Institute in 2018 that measured the presence of pesticides in the air in Vinschgau were announced. Overall, the results clearly demonstrate a considerable transport of pesticides over distances of kilometres up to isolated lateral valleys.
On 7 March 2019, a press conference, organised by Navdanya International, was held at the Press Room of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, for the launch of the Poison Free Food and Faming 2030 Campaign. With: Vandana Shiva – President of Navdanya International, Ulrich Veith – Mayor of Mals, Davide Marino – Roma Tre University, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba – TMG Think tank for Sustainability-Berlin, Patrizia Gentilini – Isde. Other Participants: Tiziano Quaini – coordinator of the Associazione Veneta dei Produttori Biologici e Biodinamici (Venetian Organic and Biodynamic Producers Association) – representing Marcia Stop Pesticidi (Stop Pesticides March), Claudio Bizzotto – Terra Chiama, Comitato genitori Asilo San Giacomo (San Giacomo Kindergarten Parents Board), Maria Grazia Mammuccini – Federbio. The event was attended by Italian MPs: Sara Cunial (M5S); Silvia Benedetti (Mixed); Susanna Cenni (Pd); Saverio De Bonis (Mixed); Rossella Muroni (LeU). Moderator: Manlio Masucci, Navdanya International.
In February 2019 a series of events was organised in France, in collaboration with the association SOL to promote the transition towards poison-free and organic food systems. In Tolouse, Dr Vandana Shiva met with students of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (National School of Agronomy). In Paris she gave a keynote speech at the Women4Climate Conference and met with young activists striking for climate, led by Greta Thunberg. The tour ended with a conference about Ecological Transition co-organised by SOL and Fondation Raja-Danièle Marcovici.
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.
Also read: Prosecco: A story of not a sparkling wine, but a local resistance against pesticides
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”.
Following his participation in the International Biodiversity Congress in India, co-organized by Navdanya, the Chief Minister of Sikkim was invited in Rome to receive the Future Policy Award 2018 of the World Future Council, at the FAO Headquarters, for his work of transitioning the State of Sikkim to 100% organic. Navdanya’s role in the transition process has been recognized as fundamental to achieve this result.
To highlight and maximize exposure on this unique example of 100% organic, Navdanya International organized a Press Conference with Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and Dr Vandana Shiva at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome, on 15 October 2018. The event was attended by Italian Parliamentarians, including the President of the Agriculture Commission at the Italian Parliament, and representatives of civil society movements and the press. Out of this meeting, new collaborations have been established with Italian MPs and members of the Agriculture Commission involved in the revision of the new National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, planned for approval in 2019. The event highlighted that 100% organic is possible and gave impetus to the Italian Government’s new law on organic farming to be approved early in 2019, which – among other things – significantly introduces a label for Italian organic products, together with a national plan on organic seeds, to improve quality and quantity, including supply chain agreements to enhance organic production.
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.
A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, by Allison Wilson, PhD – Independent Science News, 18 February 2018
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 and a Monsanto Tribunal were 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 the dominant agrochemical system model.
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.
On the afternoon of World Soil Day – December 5, 2015 – on the occasion of COP21, leaders in defense of life and of our Planet, representatives of Seed Savers – Community Supported Agriculture Networks, spiritual leaders, artists and concerned citizens gathered at La Villette in Paris for the launch of Citizens’ Pact to protect the Plaet and Each Other and planted a ‘Garden of Hope’ as a reminder that our seeds, our soils and our biodiversity, kept in the hands of local farmers and caring citizens, are solutions to climate change, to which Industrial globalised agriculture makes a significant contribution.
Click HERE for more Events and Actions
POISON FREE FOOD AND FARMING MOVEMENT AROUND THE WORLD