box_Poster_ReclaimtheField09Today FoE Europe, Food and Water Watch and the European Via Campesina launched a new film on the devastating impact of growing GM soy in Latin America. This is a part of the Feeding and Fuelling Europe project which aims to raise public awareness of the impacts of Europe’s factory farms and meat consumption in developing countries.

Many food commentators and activists are full of equivocal noises on GM – often repeating the same bits of propaganda drip fed through the media and industry. The Fife Diet (for what its worth) remains resolutely against GM and wholly unconvinced by any arguments in favour. The world food crisis is a social crisis it is not to be solved by a technical fix, especially one which puts more power and control in the hands of agri-business.

Soy, grown mostly to feed chickens, cows and pigs in Europe, now covers nearly 11 million hectares in South America – an area equivalent to all the arable farmland in Germany. The film shows that to make way for soy plantations, thousands of people are being forced from their land and with it, losing their ability to grow their own food. Indigenous people are being evicted and forests are being cleared.

Many of the soybeans are genetically modified by the multi-national Monsanto and massively increase the use of pesticides – poisoning rural communities, water sources and the natural environment. Download and view the film here. See more on GM at GM watch here.

  • fifediet November 4, 2009 at 11:08

    Graeme did you watch the film?

    We propose food sovereignty and ecologically integrated production systems to be key concepts in dealing with the pressing issues facing the agricultural sector, such as destruction of biodiversity, loss of related traditional knowledge, degradation of the environment, the deepening gap between rich and poor farmers and the attack on our food culture by GM companies.

    To reverse these problems the future models of agriculture must be ecological, biodiverse, community-based, sustainable, and socially just. These models can be rooted in the ecological rationale of traditional small-scale agriculture, representing long established examples of successful community-based local agriculture. Small farms are more productive and resource conserving, they represent a sanctuary of agrobiodiversity free of GMOs and are more resilient to climate change. Here in Scotland we have a unique opportunity to show some leadership and offer an alternative path to the corporate food world which is wrecking our planet and our health.

    We disagree with the use of GM as it stands in oppostion to all I have outlined. Biotchnology offshoots being across the Forth does not seem relevant to this debate, neither is ‘space travel through the solar system using nuclear powered space ships’. l

  • Graeme November 2, 2009 at 14:26

    Your response still doesn’t address why Fife Diet are opposed to GM technology.

    Just saying you agree with someone else who agrees with “European Consumers” who’s basis for rejection of GM is often just a gut reaction based on “hysterical” media who’s main motivation for publishing such pieces on GM is to ensure they sell more papers or gain more viewers. So just because your perception is that “everyone” says that GM is something nobody wants doesn’t mean they are right.

    Now if you were to argue that the companies that have developed GM crops and bacteria and the like, who own the intellectual rights to these products and obviously won’t be giving this technology away for free could potentially leave “third world” nations even more dependant on food aid which as a “Local Food” organisation is what you would want to campaign on.

    In the same way that pressure had to be brought to bare on pharmaceutical companies to provide licences to third world countries to allow them to produce their own HIV drugs at a much reduced cost. Pressure should be put on making GM technologies available to third world counties to produce plants that are disease and drought resistant.

    As for decentralised nuclear power system they exist already, what is a nuclear submarine if it isn’t a decentralised power system. Arthur C Clarke envisaged space travel through the solar system using nuclear powered space ships. While that has not come to pass just yet as he had predicted fission power seems the way to go but I’m guessing you wouldn’t be happy with that either as that would involve more research in nuclear technologies!

    So come on explain why you are against GM and in what way is it bad for food localisation (remembering Edinburgh University and assocaited biotechnology offshots are just across the firth) and it is bad for Food Culture.

  • fifediet November 2, 2009 at 11:10

    Hi Graeme, thanks for your comment. Everyones enntitled to their opinion. We happen to agree with the Scottish Govt stance. Roseanna Cunningham stated at the fifth international conference of GM-free regions in Europe: “Consumers in Scotland, the UK, Europe and across the world are opposed to GM. It is up to their governments to listen to them and take action to keep GM at bay.” For us food localisation is about reclaiming the food system and our food culture. I can’t see how this is compatible with GM in the same way as I can’t see how you could have a decentralised nuclear power system. Your entitled to you opinion but the Fife Diet remains actively opposed to further corporate take over of food.

  • Graeme November 1, 2009 at 17:10

    I’m sorry to see such an anti GM biased posting here. A more interesting post would have been to look at the pros and cons of GM technology and come to a reasoned conclusion either for against GM.

    At the end of the day the human race started selecting and breeding plants when they stopped being hunter gatherers. GM is a technology, a tool just like any other tool. How people use it and other technologies or even how they manage their farms has just as much effect on us and the environment.

    For example a friend lost a pet dog due to the dog drinking water out of burn that ran through his property. Further upstream the burn had been contaminated by a cow that had died and the farmer had just left to rot and thereby contaminating the burn.

    Now would you say Farmers shouldn’t be allowed to have cows or would you want Farmers to manage their farms professionally? The same applies to GM, manage the technology find out it’s limits and dangers and manage it accordingly.