There is no question that chemical pesticides are poisons: Their specific function is to destroy insects, mites, bacteria, viruses and fungi, but their targets are also weeds, in other words any unwanted plants growing in a field alongside whatever the farmer has planted. The question is, when used on plants destined for human consumption, do they end up in our bodies? To what extent? And how do they interact with the human organism?
The Slow Food network in Uganda has been working to apply new technologies designed for farmers, in collaboration with Agricultural Innovation Systems Brokerage (AGINSBA). AGINSBA enables farmers to exchange information with extension officers in their local languages through m-Omulimisa, a web-based platform that works with mobile text messaging.
The world’s best-selling herbicide, glyphosate (commonly known by the household brand name Roundup, owned by Monsanto) is used on food crops during their growth, and then to dry them. It is particularly widely used on maize and soya crops which are genetically-modifed to tolerate Roundup. And that’s not all. Glyphosate is commonly used in parks, gardens, cemeteries and along the sides of roads and railways.
Last week was the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economy Community, and simultaneously, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP is, to this day, one of the most important common policies of the European Community, both for the number of people it involves (22 million farmers), and for its economic impact, which accounts for 35% of the European Union’s GDP.
The eighth edition of Slow Fish—the international event organized by Slow Food and the Region of Liguria—will be held from Thursday, May 18 to Sunday, May 21, 2017 in the Genoa’s Porto Antico (Italy). Dedicated to the world of fish and marine ecosystems, this international event ties together the pleasure of food with the protection of marine biodiversity. Admission to the event is free!
Along with other organizations, Slow Food is participating in the international Pesticide Action Week, organized by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN): Starting from today, local events, film screenings, conferences, seminars and markets will seek to inform consumers about the risks of pesticides to the environment and our health and to encourage the use of alternative methods.
With a focus on the Mexican coast of Quintana Roo, home to the Sian Ka’an and Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserves, and the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina archipelago in Colombia, the Slow Fish network has recently embarked a new project to promote the preservation of coral reef and coastal biodiversity, currently suffering due the excessive exploitation of natural resources.
The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a rapidly-growing world population is a myth, according to UN experts: a new report presented by the Human Rights Council has heavily criticized the multinationals that produce pesticides, accusing them of “systematic denial of the magnitude of the damage”, of “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics”, and influencing governments to obstruct reforms and paralyze global pesticide restrictions.
The World Bank’s latest report on the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA), published on February 7th, aims to eliminate legal barriers to doing business in the agricultural sector and gives an insight on how the World Bank works to favor the private sector in agriculture. The Oakland Institute call on the World Bank to cancel the EBA in their new report, Down on the Seed.