The declaration below was presented on Saturday 31st May 2014. The Clean Food Movement marched 'Anti - Monsanto' and the event reached its culmination with a forum held in De Valette Square in the capital.
The Clean Food Movement calls on Government to apply for a ban on the cultivation of GMO on the Maltese Islands
Representatives of the 21 Environmental, Health and Social Organisations call on the Maltese government and European Commission to ensure the maintenance of GMO free farming and guarantee food that is Clean, Fair, Healthy and Ecological.
Valletta - Malta, 31/05/2014 – The Clean Food Movement (CFM) (1) the organisers of the March Against Monsanto 2014 held today have joined together and are issuing a declaration requesting the Prime Minister of Malta to protect the fragile ecology on these small islands and declare Malta as a GMO FREE ZONE. The movement is also requesting the newly elected MEPs to encourage the rest of the MEPs in their respective groups to do the same and not to succumb to economic pressures being exerted by the United States at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
CFM calls for an immediate halt to the TTIP agreement, an agreement that will give more power to Multinational Companies, such as Monsanto. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA should be subject to an impact study, to a democratic discussion in the European Parliament and within civil society, and to full transparency before proceeding. It should also be subject to a European wide referendum.
CFM would also like to make reference to the various articles carried out over the past weeks that relate to concerns over various alleged abuses in the local food production. It is being noted that tol this very day Malta lacks an accredited laboratory to carry out tests on food for chemical residues and GMO that can be presented as evidence in courts. Since all tests have to be assigned to a foreign laboratory, this is creating an unwarranted delay in the food control system encouraging abuse by some unscrupulous producers and processors. IT is evident that the authorities are also lacking an efficient and effective enforcement structure to guarantee the continuous safety of the consumer.
The movement calls on the new EU Commission to commit itself to a GMO moratorium across all of the EU member states. This will protect the natural and cultural heritage of Malta, and will serve the best interests of all EU member states.
This will help to guarantee the freedom of choice for European consumers and farmers and protect biodiversity. This is also an economic necessity for the food sector (4): Organic farmers as well as conventional farmers need to be sure that their products are protected from GMO contamination in order to be able to sell their products on the market.
The Clean Food Movement calls on the new MEPs to ask the new Commissioners to be appointed soon to initiate the following:
· The implementation of a European wide moratorium on GMO approvals and cultivation of GMOs in the EU. This moratorium must not end before the Commission can abide bythe Precautionary Principles to protect consumers and also economic interests.
· To appraise the socio-economic impacts of placing on the market and the cultivation of GMOs: The impacts of GMOs in the whole food production chain have to be considered, taking into account the different regional structures of the farming and food system throughout Europe. This must include the costs for the prevention of contamination and mitigation measures in case of contamination in: seed production, on the field; cleaning of commonly used machinery, transport and storage facilities; as well as in keeping feed and food free from GMOs during processing.
· To assess long-term effects of GM plants on the environment, especially on non-target organisms.
· To set a framework for the consideration of the characteristics of ecosystems/environments and of the specific geographical areas where GMO might be grown in approval procedures.
· To study the potential consequences for the environment of changes in the use of herbicides caused by herbicide-tolerant GM plants.
· To ensure coherence between risk assessments of GM plants that produce active substances (pesticides) covered by directive 91/414/EEC and those of the corresponding plant protection products
Who is the Clean Food Movement?
CFM is a gathering of 21 NGOs, organisations and individuals who share the common philosophy and that are concerned with the current state-of-affair of our food system and the environment.
Agriculture is the biggest and most important influence on our personal wellbeing and out environment. Over the years we have seen multinational organisation grabbing more power and becoming even bigger trying to dominate the food supply chain. The most dominant organisation is Monsanto, the world dominating developer and supplier of GMOs.
Who is Monsanto?
- Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s and other producers of genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumours, infertility and birth defects.
- In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GM products.
- Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
- For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favouritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
- Monsanto's GM seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world's bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
- Voting with your euro by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
- Labelling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
- Repealing relevant provisions of the US's "Monsanto Protection Act."
- Lobbing with governments calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
- Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
- Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto's secrets.
- Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly.
The Clean Food Movement is supported by:
· Malta Organic Agriculture Movement
· Green Drinks Malta
· Friends of the Earth - Malta
· Birdlife – Malta
· Permaculture Foundation,
· Slow Food Movement
· Ramblers Malta
· Gaia Foundation
· Nature Trust Malta
· Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust
· Action for Breast Cancer Foundation
· Assoċjazzjoni Maltija tal-Apikultura
· Multiple Sclerosis Society Malta
· The Vegetarian Society
· Għaqda tal-Konsumaturi - Consumers' Association Malta
· Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar
And the following entities
· Centre for Environmental Education & Research (CEER)
· Core Green Organic Foods
· Shanti Organic & Natural Products
· Shirley Cauchi - Holistic Health Coaching
· Sparkbow ECO Solutions
· Angka Café
· Simply Organic
· Sattva Health Shop
· Naturally Simply Organic
· Ġugar Bar & Hang-out
· Cruelty Free Malta
· Claire's Veggie Wonders
We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.
Whilst hoping that you kindly accept this invitation, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time should you any clarifications.