Photo courtesy of California Guild
The highlight of this year’s edition of the National Heirloom Expo (Santa Rosa, California, 10-12 September 2019) was a panel presentation on the health of the planet, chaired by Mary Jacob, President of Friends of Navdanya and addressed by Dr. Vandana Shiva, President of Navdanya International, California Guild President Bob McFarland and renowned activist Robert Kennedy Jr.
A crowd of thousands of spectators gathered for the presentation Topics discussed included global warming, the sanctity of non-engineered seeds, and pesticides that are poisoning our planet.
Dr. Shiva laid out the global picture of how just three companies (the Poison Cartel) came to control worldwide production of the herbicides and pesticides that poison our soils, water and food. And control our seed. She reminded the standing room-only audience that we have just ten years to create a poison-free world to prevent the 6th mass extinction and climate catastrophe.
Bob McFarland recounted the success of coalitions getting the chemical glyphosate added to the California list of carcinogenic chemicals. He urged the audience to support the next legislative step in creating poison-free communities in the state: a ban on glyphosate in California.
Robert Kennedy Jr. outlined the challenges and recent successes of lawsuits against Monsanto (now part of Bayer corporation) for its glyphosate-based herbicide, Round Up. Mr. Kennedy recalled the history of the changing balance of power between governments and corporations and stressed, especially this critical point in time, that convergence of corporate power with state power creates tyranny and is a threat to the freedom of people. Citizens must walk the thin line to hold both governments and corporations accountable ,and ensure that just democracies and a healthy planet prevail.