ACTIVATE! NO to Monsanto & YES to WorldFest 2013

Many thanks to all the 300+ who made a special effort and joined Green Drinks Malta in the March Against Monsanto.  It was truly a show of unity about values that we share.

The Times of Malta,
The Malta Independent
Short Video by ChampPascal
Johanna Mifsud Photography

Well done to the organisers and also to those who joined us at WorldFest 2013 organised by Koperattiva Kummerc Gust.  Keep on fighting for the value of justice for all!

Natalie Debono obo Green Drinks Malta


ACTIVATE! NO to Monsanto & YES to WorldFest 2013

On Saturday the 25th May, Green Drinks Malta is inviting you to ACTIVATE!. This is a type of gathering where we need you to stand up to be counted and support a better, fairer, healthier way of living.  We need you to stand up to injustices and oppression and the dictation of terms from internationals without scruples.

Keep Saturday the 25th May free for ACTIVATE! and bring your family and friends. 

10:00:  Meeting at City Gate, Valletta

10:30:  March Against Monsanto:  Depart from City Gate, march Republic Street and stop at St. George's Square.  Meeting with Hon Minister/s.  

Make our way to Upper Barrakka to join the WorldFest Fairtrade event.

11:30:  Public forum debate on “Our Food – Our Future” at Upper Barrakka.

12:30:  Enjoy lunch at WorldFest. Visit the stalls.

14:30:  Gaia in Golden Bay will be holding an open day so at 2pm they will be showing ‘The World according to Monsanto’

17:00–20:00:  Short educational presentations at Angka Cafe in Marsa about What are GMOs?, Why and how to avoid Genetically Modified food and products, Socio-Economic and Environmental impacts of GM business, The benefits of going Organic – The principle of health, ecology, fairness, and care. Grow organic – seed keeping and sprouting.

Gozo will be organising an awareness raising event on Thursday 23 May from 7pm onwards at Mo-Jos in Victoria.  The event will consist of a free jam session (bring your instruments), basic introduction to the GMO problem, large screen projection of GMO related documentaries and an open discussion.  

* * * 
Why do we march?

We are fighting to preserve the integrity of nature and ecosystems, to assure a positive approach to natural produce and to preserve the very survival of the human race.

Recent peer-reviewed research published in the internationally respected journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found significantly increased rates of cancer and death in rats fed both Monsanto's GM maize and its herbicide Roundup. GMOs also destroy biodiversity, lead to increased costs for conventional farmers, increase corporate control of the food chain, and fail to combat global hunger.

The US Government is exerting political pressure on the EU to liberalize the GMO market to accommodate US companies that are the main producers of such seeds.

It has become a constant battle to find CLEAN seeds that are not contaminated by modified genetic code.

Public opposition has so far meant that GM-crops are not widespread in Europe. Some GM maize is grown, mainly in Spain, for animal feed. However agri-business has submitted dozens of applications to grow many more GM-crops in the European Union, and the European Commission will this year consider reviving talks to approve 25 new GM crops for cultivation. These are either resistant to the herbicide RoundUp, or produce insecticide. These include varieties of GM maize, soybean and sugarbeet. These crops constitute a major threat to sustainable farming in Europe, our right to choose and the environment.

Most GM-crops fall into one of two categories. They are either engineered to resist chemical herbicides, or they are engineered to produce insecticides in the plants themselves. Herbicide resistant crops increase the use of herbicides, increasing costs for farmers as well as creating environmental and health problems, affecting poorer communities who live near large GM farms in developing countries, as well as causing pollution. Insecticide crops are constantly producing toxins when they're not even necessary, and can indiscriminately kill other insects beneficial for the environment.

Corporate control

GM-crops are patented – allowing research, breeding and ultimately the entire food chain of GM-crops to be controlled by a few multinational companies such as Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Pioneer and Dow. The GM market is driven by these companies' desire to sell herbicides as well as seeds, in their aggressive pursuit of profit. Traditional crops and local varieties in combination with modern plant breeding are invariably cheaper and better suited to local conditions.

Ongoing contamination

The cultivation and trade of GM-crops adds costs not only for farmers but also for companies in the organic and conventional food and feed supply chain. The costs of keeping seeds, crop and foods separate from GM varieties to avoid contamination is borne by the non-GM producers. This is profoundly unfair – essentially placing the economic burden on the victim, not the polluter.

GM crops do not tackle hunger or poverty

Continued industry promises about the ability of GM crops to tackle the world's growing social problems are pure myth: there is still not a single commercial GM crop with increased yield or salt-tolerance, enhanced nutrition or other 'beneficial' traits. GM crops are confined to a handful of countries with highly industrialised agricultural sectors – where GM-cash-crops are grown to be sold on the world market for textiles, feed and fuel, and not to feed people.

The large majority of the European public have recognised that GM-crops offer no added value –only added environmental and health risks. Several European governments have bans on the cultivation of GM-crops. There are GM-free regions in nearly every European country, some countries almost entirely covered in them. All leading European supermarkets and food companies phased out food containing GM ingredients over 10 years ago. As the European Commission considers opening Europe’s doors to further GM-crop cultivation, these pages present some of the dangers – and argue for food and farms that provide livelihoods and healthy food for people, protect our biodiversity, and don't pollute the environment.