Unfair Trade Deals (60%)
Thank you to the hundreds of people from all over the world that completed our survey. In fact we are still receiving responses; if you are interested, join our “advisory team” and complete it here.
We asked you what was your top concern, and you told us: Access to Healthy Food.
That said, as one respondent noted in her comment: “Everything here is connected–and urgent.” That thinking is clearly reflected in the results.
Following Access to Healthy Food (79%), you prioritized:
Pesticides, Herbicides and other Toxins in our Food (78%)
Environmental Degradation and Pollution (78%)
Climate Change (73%)
Loss of Biodiversity (73%)
Corporate Influence over Government Food Policies (73%)
Hunger and Poverty (71%)
Displacement of Farmers and Land Grabs (71%)
Unfair Trade Deals (60%)
Unfair Trade Deals (60%)
Here’s a short video clip we just put together of Dr. Shiva addressing the issue of interconnectedness…and quantum theory!
We received hundreds of comments on the survey. Most mentioned the difficulty of ranking any one problem over another and many were understandably despairing of the status quo. A few respondents stood firm that industrial agriculture and GMOs were the solution to the issues we listed; in fact one suggested we “start embracing biotechnology and leave outdated, environmentally unsound organic practices behind.”
Here is a short selection of other thoughts from different participants.
“I am Native American and a sustainability scientist. I believe if you explain more about colonization, economic imperialism and unethical for-profit science, more people will fight to stop those influences.”
“I would bring up the loss of tradition, knowledge and cultural/social diversity as well as the loss of connection between land, seasons, people and food that is at the core of healthy food.”
“Hearing about solutions would be very high on my list of priorities. Knowing what’s being done and working makes me a better advocate and activist. And a more hopeful person.”
“It’s not going take old minds with new programs to change the direction our societal river is flowing–it’s going take new minds and an entirely new vision.”
“Time is running out. We must pull together and re-energize grassroots movements to overcome these perils.”
We agree. The enormously critical issue of food was ignored by both candidates in the U.S. presidential race, despite a bi-partisan poll that found that 53% of likely voters agreed that too many Americans can’t afford healthy food in their communities, 81% believe that food policy is focused on money over health, and 75% favor State support of sustainable farming.
The President Elect has no published food policy, is considering a Cabinet list that includes Big Ag executives to the Department of Agriculture and a Climate Change denier leading the Environmental Protection Agency.
Our only hope is the burgeoning food justice movement that does more than call foul on polluters, but also offers real solutions to the food crisis, the environmental crisis and the crisis of democracy all put together in a message of hope. Presidents and politicians will never save us; historically, only strong grassroots movements have ever brought about meaningful change.
So, onwards: Our next post will include video commentary on the issues raised in the survey.
By the way, we’d love to hear from you. Please send us your comments here and let us know what you think.
Over the past year The Seeds of Vandana Shiva project has evolved in numerous exciting ways and we are eager to tell you about it.
But first we must let you know we have just arrived in The Hague, Netherlands, where the permanent International Criminal Court prosecutes the gravest crimes of concern to the international community—genocide, war and crimes against humanity.
This weekend, from October 14th to 16th and coinciding with World Food Day on Sunday, five internationally respected judges will hear witnesses and experts from around the world at an historic People’s Tribunal against Monsanto. Over 800 organizations are supporting and participating in this event and we have been asked to film at the proceedings.
Despite growing global awareness and grassroots opposition, Monsanto has thus far avoided responsibility for the human and environmental damage caused by its products. By way of a systematic and powerful strategy that includes distributing false scientific studies and manipulating the press, the company continues to pursue and expand its destructive activities around the world.
You may already know that Bayer just bought Monsanto for $66 billion. And this is, in fact, not the only merger in process: ChemChina and Syngenta plan to merge. So do Dow Chemical and DuPont.
The agrochemical industry is already dominated by only 6 companies—Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont—that control 60% of commercial seed and more than 75% of agrochemical markets. If all these mergers are approved, 4 corporations—whose business, let’s remember, is in poisons and pharmaceuticals—will have unprecedented power over our food supply.
This is why Monsanto is not the only focus of the Tribunal’s efforts. Multinational agribusiness that pollutes air, soil and water, destroys biodiversity, devastates communities and significantly contributes to climate change must—and will—one day be stopped. There are well documented and scientifically proven ecological ways to feed the world, restore health to the planet and mitigate climate change. This is what Dr. Vandana Shiva’s life of activism and our film is about.
Although the Tribunal will not have the power to enforce its judgment, observers believe the process will set an important precedent for the ICC to prosecute ecocide. In fact, last month the court issued a press release stating that it looks forward to prosecuting environmental crimes, including the destruction and exploitation of natural resources and the illegal dispossession of land. This is a new addition to the ICC mandate, which before focused exclusively on crimes against people.
The Monsanto Tribunal is a big deal and we are honored that the organizers have asked us to participate in this landmark event.
We’ll be posting to our Facebook page and Twitter account over the weekend, and for even more information—including a live stream of the action—see here and here.
On our return we can’t wait to write to you with our impressions. Also, look out for a forthcoming newsletter about what else we’ve been up to, including where we are with the film.