On Tuesday 18th October a new Global Citizens’ Report on the State of GMOs “The GMO Emperor has no Clothes”, was launched by our partner Vandana Shiva at a press conference in Rome. The report, which features contributions from civil society networks from across 6 continents, has been co-ordinated by Navdanya International. The African Biodiversity Network has proudly contributed and edited the section on Africa. The report finds that GM has failed to live up to any of its promises in both developed and developing countries, and has led to escalating chemical use, “superweeds” and “superbugs”. They have also failed to commercialise any crops tolerant to drought or disease. Instead, the control that Monsanto and GM have exerted over the farming system have left farmers in spiralling debt, and contributed to 250,000 farmer suicides in India.
The report’s title refers to the traditional children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen, about an emperor who is told by his tailors that only the wise can see his magical clothes. He and all the people pretend that they can see that he is wearing beautiful robes – while in reality he is completely naked. It is only when a young child shouts out the truth, that everyone realises that they have been fooled. In the same way, the world has been in thrall to Monsanto’s false claims of increased yields and reduced chemical use – so citizens around the world are now shouting that the GMO emperor has no clothes.
The full report and the synthesis report can be downloaded from the Navdanya International website where you call also ‘Join the Chorus’ shouting “the GMO Emperor has No Clothes!”
A great interview on the report’s findings, with Friends of the Earth chairman and Nnimmo Bassey can also be viewed at the Guardian – GM crops promote superweeds, food insecurity and pesticides, by John Vidal, 19 October 2011. Also check out an interview with Vandana Shiva about the report in the Ecologist, 21st October 2011 and an article by Sean Poulter in the Daily Mail.