sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2009

Europe and U.S. bear special responsibility for food crisis, new report finds

Press Release

May 19, 2009

Europe and U.S. bear special responsibility for food crisis, new report finds
Key steps identified to shift course and create a just and sustainable global food system

Brussels/Minneapolis/Geneva – Policies enacted by the United States and the European Union, and aggressively pushed through global institutions during the last several decades, laid the ground for the ongoing food crisis, finds a new report by CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies, and the Institute for Agriculture Policy (IATP). Nearly 1 billion people are currently suffering from hunger around the world and the economic crisis is increasing this number, worsening the situation by the day.

The report identified the convergence of the food, economic and climate crises as indicators that call into question the viability of existing models of food production and consumption. The report highlights policy failures including neglected agriculture programs, ill-advised economic adjustment policies, commodity speculation and unjust trade rules that have led to a vulnerable global food system.

“The EU and U.S. need to work with developing country governments to empower small-holder farmers. A new generation of sustainable agriculture policies is needed to provide for an urgently needed balance between economic profitability and socio-ecological justice, preventing a scramble for natural resources. This is vital to ensure female and male small scale producers, women-led households and landless workers can attain a decent livelihood,” said Bernd Nilles, CIDSE Secretary General.

“The EU and U.S. need to contribute to, rather than block, the establishment of an entirely new global model for food and agriculture—one that is housed at the U.N. but includes non-state actors and mobilises all forces to eradicate hunger,” said Alexandra Spieldoch, director of IATP’s Trade and Global Governance program and co-author of the report.

The paper makes a series of recommendations for U.S. and EU policymakers that could be implemented at a number of upcoming international meetings this year that address the food crisis.

Key recommendations include:

- An inclusive and binding global partnership for agriculture and food security that strengthens U.N. agencies, involves non-state actors and has a strong mandate;

- A substantial increase in aid for agriculture, delivered in line with the right to food;

- Respect for the multifunctionality of agriculture including ecological and social sustainability, access to land and water for small scale producers and greater use of local seed varieties;

- Measures to address price volatility, including food reserves and tight regulation on speculation; and

- A shift in trade policies away from the quest for market access for European and U.S. agribusiness firms.

Contact:

Cliona Sharkey, CIDSE Policy & Advocacy Officer, sharkey@cidse.org, +32 2 223 37 51

Ben Lilliston, IATP (Minneapolis), ben@iatp.org, 612-870-3416

Read the report here

quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2009

The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report

by Antonia Juhasz, http://www.TrueCostofChevron.com/
May 26th, 2009



Think you know Chevron? Think again.

Chevron's 2008 annual report is a glossy celebration of the company's most profitable year in its history. What Chevron's annual report does not tell its shareholders is the true cost paid for those financial returns, or the global movement gaining voice and strength against Chevron's abuses. Thus, we, the communities and our allies who bear the consequences of Chevron’s oil and natural gas production, refineries, depots, pipelines, exploration, offshore drilling rigs, coal fields, chemical plants, political control, consumer abuse, false promises, and much more, have prepared an Alternative Annual Report for Chevron.

This report is a collaboration between Amazon Watch, Crude Accountability, Global Exchange, Justice in Nigeria Now, Rainforest Action Network, CorpWatch, Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Trustees for Alaska, Communities for a Better Environment, Mpalabanda, Richmond Progressive Alliance, and EarthRights International.

The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report
is a one-stop-shop for activists, policy makers, journalists, investors, analysts, and communities in struggle.

It is the most comprehensive exposé of Chevron’s operations – and the communities in struggle against them – ever compiled. It includes reports from Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, the Gulf Coast, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming; and internationally across Angola, Burma, Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Ecuador, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

Antonia Juhasz is the lead author and editor of the report, which includes the writings of sixteen additional authors from across the U.S. and around the world and the contributions of dozens of organizations.

The 44-page report is available to download at www.TrueCostofChevron.com -- a visually stunning website using our ChevWrong “Inhumane Energy” ads that reveal the hypocrisy of Chevron’s human energy ad campaign. The report and the ads can be downloaded for free from the website, which also provides action steps, links to the organizations involved in the True Cost of Chevron campaign, and more. Hard copies of the report can also be ordered for a small fee from the website.

terça-feira, 26 de maio de 2009

Transgenics

Ecologistas y agricultores piden a candidatos al PE que expresen su postura sobre los transgénicos

MADRID, 25 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -


Asociaciones de ecologistas, agricultores y consumidores exigieron hoy a los candidatos en las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo que expresen su postura sobre los transgénicos ante los próximos comicios de 7 de junio.

Así, recordaron la movilización contra los cultivos en Europa que se celebró en España el pasado 18 de abril en Zaragoza y a la que asistieron más de 8.000 personas 'Por una alimentación y una agriculturas libres de transgénicos'.

En ese sentido, la organización Ecologistas en Acción insiste en un comunicado en que España es el "único" país miembro de la Unión Europea que cultiva transgénicos a gran escala, por lo que se encuentra "cada vez más aislado" en Europa en la defensa de estos productos.

Finalmente, señala que ya son seis los países que han prohibido formalmente el cultivo de transgénicos, en base a evidencias científicas sobre sus impactos ambientales y por los riesgos que plantean sobre la salud humana. Según datos de Ecologistas en Acción, en España se cultivaron en 2008 casi 80.000 hectáreas de maíz transgénico y el Gobierno ha seguido aprobando nuevas variedades y apoyando la introducción de nuevos transgénicos a nivel europeo.

segunda-feira, 25 de maio de 2009

A Profitable Epidemic

A Profitable Epidemic

by Silvia Ribeiro

[This article originally appeared in La Jornada on April 28, 2009: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/04/28/index.php?section=opinion&article=020a1pol.]

The new swine flu epidemic that threatens to spread to more regions of the world is nothing new. It is part of an overall crisis, and it stems from industrial animal farming, which is dominated by transnational companies.

In Mexico, the large poultry and pig farms have proliferated in the (dirty) wake of the North American Free Trade Agreement. One example is Carroll Farms (Granjas Carroll), which is located in Veracruz and owned by Smithfield Foods, the largest pig farming and pork processing operation in the world, with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, and China. A virulent, weeks-old epidemic of respiratory diseases that has affected 60% of the inhabitants of La Gloria was traced back to Carroll Farms in Perote, as reported in the newspaper La Jornada, based on declarations from Perote residents. For years these people have been fighting against the company’s polluting methods, and they have even been victims of repression by the authorities as a result of residents’ complaints. Carroll Farms has declared that there is no connection between the present epidemic and their operations and that their farm is not the origin of the virus. They have claimed that Perote residents have had a “common” flu, and as a result there has been no investigation into what specific virus they were actually dealing with.

In contrast, the findings of the Pew Commission panel on Industrial Farm Animal Production, published in 2008, affirm that the breeding and confinement conditions of industrial production, especially in pigs, create the perfect environment for virus recombination in various virus strains. As bird and swine flu viruses may mutate into a virus that could affect and be transmitted to humans, the danger of these flus in particular was mentioned in the report. The findings also report the many ways in which a virus can spread to faraway places, apparently without direct contact, water contamination being one of them. The bird flu outbreak should serve as an example of this. See the report in GRAIN that illustrates how the poultry industry started the bird flu (www.grain.org).



Full article here