Australian Fair Food Forum

Biotech in Sustainable Ag & Nutrition - FAO Symposium in Sept 17

There is an alarming new development in the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN to push the use of biotechnologies in ‘sustainable’ agriculture. A push from member states such as Australia and the US got this discussion started early this year in Rome, and there is a regional meeting coming up in KL where civil society has a chance to be heard before it progresses too quickly… I’ll be attending for AFSA with an opportunity to speak on a panel defending the need for locally-adapted biodiverse breeds of livestock and putting/maintaining control of genetics across agriculture in the hands of peasant farmers.

I’ll post more specific questions in this topic when I have time, but for now if anyone has a chance to look at the proceedings from the Rome symposium and offer feedback that would be great.

@frances you’ll be particularly interested and your input would be very welcome, as would Bob’s if he’s available!

Hi Tammi,
It is breathtaking that Australia is pushing GM. It’s failures are huge
and it has sucked up endless money and time and caused genetic pollution
and numerous harms, including birth defects and cancers. Here is an article
from the Conversation talking about the "post-truth’ world of agriculture,
talking especially about GM, pesticides, over production of food and the
corporates claiming to be climate smart:

The GM industry and associated scientists, bureaucrats, and technophiles
remain wilfully blind to:

A more accessible story of this is here:

Anyway, this may all be too much as basically you are right - we need local
and locally developed food systems using seed that suits the climate and
the farmers and eaters. I could go on and on but want to make things
targeted for you. In my view industrial/chemical/GM ag is like the
producers of Thalidomide. That is why I liked the Monsanto Tribunal
approach of showing they breech human rights and need to be brought to
account. They can get away with it, in my view as there is a ‘story’ that
without this ag we will starve. Hard to take seriously as we can see the
poisoning and death caused by this system. I feel we need to show the harms
of the system and say we need the sort of ag you do. Of course the
extraction of profit will not be the same as it will stay in local areas.
The emergence of the behemoths of ag (and corporations in general) cannot
happen without mass extraction of profit from the serfs of the system.

Maybe this is no help whatsoever however I’m happy to further discuss. Do
you want me to go through the whole doc and do a critique?

Hope all is well with you

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This is amazing, Fran, thank you! Very helpful. If you find you have time to read the proceedings from the Rome symposium and want to offer any comments that would be incredibly helpful. I can also send you the proposed program for the Sept meeting so you can see the diversity of topics we’ll be fielding over the three days.