11.12.14

Carta Aberta da Aliança para a Soberania Alimentar na África (AFSA) contra experimentos de Bananas GM na alimentação humana (em inglês)


Título original: Open Letter from AFSA Opposing Human Feeding Trials with GM Bananas

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) | 12.09.2014
“The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa questions what firm conclusions can be drawn from feeding trials of young people residing in the United States for poor rural farmers and consumers in Africa…”
To:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Sue.Desmond-Hellman@gatesfoundation.org
Chris.Elias@gatesfoundation.org
Dr Wendy S White, Iowa State University
wswhite@iastate.edu
Director, Human-Institutional Review Board, Iowa State University
IRB@iastate.edu

Dear Sirs/Madam:
We, the undersigned, representing diverse constituencies from across Africa and the world, working towards food sovereignty, are strongly opposed to the human feeding trials taking place at Iowa State University involving the so-called genetically modified (GM) “super banana” – GM Matooke, Sweet and Roasting bananas.
These trials funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are being carried out under the leadership of Dr. Wendy White of the Iowa State University, on 12 young students, with the intention of introducing the GM banana first in Uganda and later, to other countries in East Africa. The GM banana, currently undergoing field trials in Uganda, was developed by scientists at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, similarly also funded by the Gates Foundation.
These trials, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are being carried out under the leadership of Dr. Wendy White of the Iowa State University, on 12 young students, with the intention of introducing the GM banana in in East Africa.
Despite claims to the contrary from the promoters and developers of GM crops, and to reiterate what nearly three hundred global scientists have stated in an Open Letter in December 2013, there is no consensus that GM crops are safe for human consumption. Most of the research carried out by independent scientists on GM crops directly contradicts the results of biotech industry-sponsored studies that claim no evidence of risk or harm.
This so-called “super banana,” has been genetically modified to contain extra beta-carotene, a nutrient the human body uses to produce vitamin A. Unlike current GM crops in commercial production where agronomic traits have been altered, scientists have spliced genes into the GM banana to produce substances for humans to digest (extra beta carotene). The GM banana is a whole different ballgame, raising serious concerns about the risks to African communities who would be expected to consume it. Production of vitamin A in the body is complex and not fully understood. This raises important questions including inter alia, whether high levels of beta- carotene or vitamin A may carry risks and what the nature of those risks might be.  While a risk assessment is a pre-requisite for GM foods under many national jurisdictions, the need for specific and additional food safety assessment for nutritionally enhanced GM crops such as the GM banana is acknowledged by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, as genetic modifications result in a composition that may be significantly different from their conventional counterparts. 1
We question what firm conclusions can be drawn from feeding trials of young people residing in the United States for poor rural farmers and consumers in Africa, given all the differences in lifestyle and diets between these two populations?
What other foods will these students be eating with the GM bananas, and how will these be eaten? Will the participants in the USA be eating this in the same way? Will it have the same color and same levels of water composition? Would cooking the GM bananas result in a loss of beta-carotene? Will participants be given portions of fats and oils (such as butter) to supplement the banana, as was the case in feeding trials with Golden Rice to facilitate the absorption of beta-carotene? If so, then the GM banana feeding studies may be of little relevance to rural Ugandans and other East Africans who prepare the Matooke variety simply by steaming and mashing.
Great strides have been made in the Philippines, another target country for Vitamin enhanced GM crops, through government programs that supply supplements and improve access to vitamin A rich foods, to overcome Vitamin A deficiencies. This is done without the enormous costs or unknown long- term impacts on health, the environment and farming systems that are entailed by using GM crops. And it is more completely in control of the user society. Africa, the USA, and indeed the rest of the world, do not need GM crops. These crops divert resources away from more locally appropriate and controlled agricultural solutions to nutritional concerns. If indeed the aim of those involved in the promotion of the project is truly to combat Vitamin A deficiency then surely they should be advocating for the consumption of more diverse fruits and foods, such as sweet potatoes that are rich in Vitamin A and that are in abundance in Africa. Ironically, the promotion of a GM food staple high in Vitamin A, risks perpetuating monolithic diets, the very causes of Vitamin A deficiency in the first place.
This letter is in solidarity with farmers and communities in Africa and around the world, which have resisted the genetic modification of their staple foods- from Ghana, Kenya and Zambia- to Mexico, India and the Philippines. We will not stand by idly as attempts are made to systematically genetically modify Africa’s staple foods and in the process gain a massive positive public relations coup by claiming to have conquered health problems at the unnecessary risk to Africans.
Finally, we demand that the full contents of this open letter are shared with the human subjects of these trials in the USA.
Bridget Mugambe
Policy Advocate
Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
P.O. BOX 571
Kampala, Uganda
Email: b_mugambe@yahoo.com
Tel: 256 775 692499
 AFSA logo


Supported by:
African Biodiversity Network  (Kenya)
African Centre for Biosafety  (South Africa)
Africa Europe Faith Justice Network (Belgium)
African Network on the Right to Food (Togo)
Agency for Integrated Rural Development (Uganda)
AgriculturALMissions Inc (USA)
AgriProfocus (Uganda)
AGRA Watch/Community Alliance for Global Justice (USA)
Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (Nigeria)
Alliance for Rural Advancement (South Africa)
Biowatch (South Africa)
Border Rural Committee (South Africa)
Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (USA)
Centre for Information Policy in Africa (Uganda)
Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) (Ghana)
Centre for Participatory Research and Development (Uganda)
Centro Internazionale (Italy)
Civil Society Watch Project (Uganda)
?Committee on Vital Environmental Resources (COVER) Nigeria
Community to Community (USA)
Community Development Resource Network (Uganda)
Consumer Education Trust (Uganda)
Commons for Eco Justice (Malawi)
Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development- Africa
CNCD- 11.11.11 (Belgium)
CICODEV Africa
Earthlife Africa (South Africa)
Environmental Management and Livelihoods Improvement (Uganda)
Entraide et Fraternite (Belgium)
Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (EASAFF-regional network)
FAHAMU (Senegal)
Farmer Support Group (South Africa)
Family Farm Defenders (USA)
Farm Workers Association of Florida (USA)
Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (West Africa)
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (USA)
Food Sovereignty Ghana (Ghana)
Food Democracy Now! (USA)
Food Matters Zimbabwe
Food and Water Watch (USA)
FOOD Watch (Australia)
Friends of the Earth Africa
FNQ Sustainability Alliance (Australia)
Garden Africa
Gaia Foundation (United Kingdom)
Gene Ethics (Australia)
GRAIN
Greenpeace
GM Free Australia (Australia)
GM-Free Far North Queensland (Australia)
Grassroots International (USA)
Growth Partners Africa (Kenya)
Hawai`i SEED
Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) Nigeria
International Development Exchange (USA)
Institute for Culture and Ecology (Kenya)
Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives (Mali)
Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) Ethiopia
Interface Development Interventions (Philippines)
jAbL (Germany)
JA!FOE (Mozambique)
JINUKUN- Coalition to Protect African Genetic Heritage (Benin)
Kenya Biodiversity Coalition (Kenya)
Kenya Food Rights Alliance (Kenya)
Land Loss Prevention Project (USA)
La Via Campesina (Africa)
La Via Campesina (North America)
Legal Resources Centre (South Africa)
MADGE Australia Inc (Australia)
Mantasa (Indonesia)
Melca (Ethiopia)
Mississippi State Association of Cooperatives (USA)
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (USA)
National Association for Professional Environmentalists (Uganda)
National Family Farm Coalition (USA)
Natures Friends Institute Demonstration Site (USA)
Ndima Community Service (South Africa)
Nkuzi Development Association (South Africa)
Navdanya (India)
Never Ending Food  (Malawi)
Network of Farmers and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa
North East Organic Farming Association of New York (USA)
Oakland Institute (USA)
Pesticide Action Network- North America
Partners for the Land and Agriculture Needs of Traditional Peoples (USA)
PELUM Association (Regional network representing 10 countries in Africa)
Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (South Africa)
Rural Women’s Assembly (Southern Africa)
Slow Food Youth Network (South Africa)
Society for International Development (Italy/International)
SOS Faim Luxemburg (Germany)
Southern Cape land Committee (South Africa)
Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (Uganda)
Sovereign Seeds (Western Australia)
Surplus people project (South Africa)
The Ecologist Magazine
The Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee
The Acequia Institute (USA)
Third World Network
Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (Tanzania)
Terra Nova (Italy)
Tropical Sustainable Foundation (Uganda)
Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (USA)
The Committee on Vital Environment Resources (Nigeria)
The Young Environmental Network (Nigeria)
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria)
Trust for Community Outreach and Education (South Africa)
Transkei Land Service Organisation (South Africa)
Pan-Africanist International (Belgium)
Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (Uganda)
Platforme Regionale des Organisations d’Afrique Centrale
SEARICE (Philippines)
Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (Uganda)
US-Africa Network (USA)
US F00d Sovereignty Alliance (USFA)
Vijiji Foundation (Tanzania)
Washington Biotechnology Action Council (USA)
Women on Farms (South Africa)
World Neighbours
Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (Uganda)
Zambia Alliance for Agro Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation (Zambia)

Individuals
Dr. Vandana Shiva (India)
Joanna Stodden (Seattle, USA)
LanDinh (Philadelphia USA)
Dr Jeanne Koopman (USA)
SheilaKinsey (Rome, Italy)
Sue Kalicinska (United Kingdom)
Sue Edwards
Reverend M Dele (USA)
Dr. Eva Novotny (United Kingdom)
Erik Dalhuijsen (Aberdeen Scotland)
Franz Fischer (Zimbabwe)
Dr. Michael Antoniou (United Kingdom)
Sr. KumudineDassanayake (Holy Family of Bordeaux,  Sri-Lanka)
Dr. Norman Albon (United Kingdom)
Frances Moore Lappé (Food First co-founder)
Prof. Joseph Cummins (Canada)
Dr. Marion Hersh (Scotland)
MelleseDamtieDandi
June WalkerThanthwe (Malawi)
John Wilson (Zimbabwe)
Philip L Bereano, Professor Emeritus
Dr. Devon G. Peña (Food First board member)
H.M Owens
Jeanie Clark (Warracknabeal, Australia)
Joan Gussow Professor Emeritus (Columbia University, USA)
Dr. Eric Holt-Giménez (Food First Executive Director)

Publicado orignalmente em Food First

Anvisa aprova iniciativa para banir dois agrotóxicos

A Anvisa aprovou nesta terça-feira (09/12) duas iniciativas regulatórias para propor o banimento dos agrotóxicos Forato e Parationa Metílica. Os dois produtos fazem parte do grupo de agrotóxicos que vem passando por reavaliação da Anvisa para revisar os seus parâmetros de segurança. No processo de registro de agrotóxicos no Brasil, cabe à Anvisa avaliar o impacto destas substâncias sobre a saúde humana, tanto do trabalhador rural como do consumidor.
Por lei, o registro de agrotóxicos não tem data de validade, porém as reavaliações são feitas para rever os limites de segurança do produto diante de novas informações científicas sobre estas substâncias. A Anvisa já havia realizado consultas públicas com a indicação de banimentos destas duas substâncias anteriormente.
Tratam-se de análises rigorosas que busca reunir todas as evidências e trabalhos científicos que apontem dados relevantes para a saúde humana.
Desde 2009, quando a Agência iniciou a reavaliação de 14 agrotóxicos existentes no país, quatro já foram banidos e outros dois sofreram alterações em seus limites e recomendações de uso. A iniciativa regulatória está publicada na edição nº 240 do Diário Oficial da União.
Publicado originalmente em Em Pratos Limpos

5.12.14

26 filmes que todo ativista pelo alimento deve assistir

Título original:

Por Danielle Nierenberg e Katie Work

Films and short videos are a powerful way of increasing awareness of and interest in the food system. With equal parts technology and artistry, filmmakers can bring an audience to a vegetable garden in Uganda, a fast food workers’ rights protest in New York City, or an urban farm in Singapore. And animation can help paint a picture of what a sustainable, just, and fair food system might look like. Film is an incredible tool for effecting change through transforming behaviors and ways of thinking.
There are many incredible films educating audiences about changes being made – or that need to be made – in the food system.
Anna Lappé and Food Mythbusters, for example, just released a new animated short film on how “Big Food” marketing targets children and teenagers, filling their diets with unhealthy processed food products – and what parents, teachers, and communities can do to combat it.
In addition to Lappé’s timely and compelling call to action, Food Tank has selected 26 films – both long and short – to share with you. From the importance of land rights for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to the insidious dominance of fast food in an urban community in California, each of these films can inform and inspire eaters all over the world. We ask that you, in turn, share this list with your networks in order that they may reach an even wider audience.
1. A Farmer in Africa: Property Rights: The lack of property rights and rental agreements create problems for smallholder farmers in many developing countries. Sometimes governments or corporations engage in land-grabs, pushing farmers off the land, or regulate land use, keeping farmers from being able to cultivate their land. This short from the World Resources Institute explains the difficulty of balancing individual citizens’ rights to farm with the public good in sub-Saharan Africa.
2. A Place at the Table: Hunger, especially in the United States, is often not the result poverty, not food shortages. A Place at the Table profiles three of the 50 million Americans who live with hunger every day, and describes the challenges they face between staying full and eating healthy food.
3. Cooking by Heart: Domi et Cyril Sarthe’s Gnocchi with Spinach Sauce: Cooking by Heart’s short film is more than a lesson in how to make dumplings: it’s an examination of how simple and delicious a meal can be when the ingredients are grown right in one’s backyard.
4. Fast Food: Did you know the potato is the most-consumed vegetable in the United States? Or that the customers who visit McDonald’s ten times a month make up 75 percent of its business? The Infographics Show packages fast food facts into easily digestible, pardon the pun, graphics.
5. Food Chains: Award-winning filmmaker Sanjay Rawal's upcoming film sheds light on the human rights violations that occur to farm workers who pick 125 million kilograms (280 million pounds) of fresh fruits and vegetables each day across the United States. The movie discusses how big food companies ensure unfair wages exist, but also how some companies are using their weight in the market to push for labor justice.
6. Food Fight: Earth Amplified’s music video creates a world in which processed food is literally deadly. The Oakland-based hip-hop group makes more than music: through SOS Juice, they also host community food justice workshops and serve fresh juice.
7. Food Speculation: In 2007 and 2008, food prices rose dramatically, resulting in food riots across the developing world. These riots re-occurred in 2010 and 2011. World Economy, Ecology & Development (WEED) outlines how speculation on food futures causes dangerous fluctuation in food prices.
8. Forks Over Knives: This film takes a look at degenerative diseases that are plaguing the United States, linking them to America’s consumption of processed food and animal products, and suggests eating a more plant-based diet.
9. FRESH, the Movie: This film celebrates farmers who are innovating and re-inventing the food system by confronting issues such as pollution, obesity, and depletion of natural resources.
10. The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers: On average, residents of the United States eat three hamburgers a week, which means the United States raises a lot of cows. This short from the Center for Investigative Reporting spells out the costs of conventionally raised beef.
11. How to Feed the World?: Created for the Bon Appétit exhibition at Paris’ Cité des Sciences in 2010, this short film profiles various ways of interacting with the global food system, from eating locally to to subsistence farming. It provides the viewer with a global perspective on food production and distribution, along with guidance on how to eat more sustainably.
12. La Cosecha/The Harvest: This 2010 documentary follows the lives of three migrant fieldworkers--all of them under the age of 18. These are just three of the estimated 400,000 children who work picking crops in the United States.
13. King Corn: Two East Coast documentarians move to the American heartland and plant a one-acre crop of corn, and discover how much of the American diet corn infiltrates.
14. Myth of Choice: Is junk food what we really crave?: Do kids want to eat processed food products devoid of nutritional value because they simply like them better than healthier, more nourishing food – or does junk food marketing target youth very aggressively? Food Mythbusters’ newest short film is dedicated to answering this question.
15. Nokia, HK Honey: Hidden in the cityscape of Hong Kong, there is a community of beekeepers who are providing residents with access to local honey and helping bring urban dwellers closer to their food.
16. Our Daily Bread: This film offers a shocking look at how food is produced and how food production companies use technology to maximize efficiency and profit. Without using words, the film allows the viewer to form their own opinions through the use of sounds of machinery, conveyor belts at a chicken factory, and the motor of a plane spraying pesticides.
17. Planning for a Sustainable Local Food System: Ideally, city planning also includes planning for a sustainable food system. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)’s GOTO2040 program calls for a stronger regional food system in the Chicago area, created through better financing and infrastructure.
18. Soil: Our Climate Ally Underfoot: The Center for Food Safety recently released a short video on the importance of improving and preserving the health of damaged soils. In the words of conservationist Richard King, interviewed in the video: “It’s critical to [future generations] that we develop a regenerative agriculture – and to do that, we have to start with building soil health.”
19. Soil Matters on the Farm: Gabe Smith doesn’t till his North Dakota farmland and he grows some crops not for food or for sale, but as cover crops. Smith’s goal is to improve the quality of soil – and, consequently, the nutritional value of his crops. His rejuvenated soil holds larger amounts of water and his farm is more drought-resistant. Because of his holistic approach, he no longer needs to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
20. Sustainable Agriculture: Where Do We Go From Here?: Large-scale agriculture is doing more harm than good, and the current patterns of population growth and agriculture will lead to more destruction of the planet’s resources. The Nature Conservancy argues for smaller-scale, environmentally sustainable agriculture.
21. The Garden: This Academy Award-nominated documentary tells the story of a South Central Los Angeles community of farmers and their urban garden that rose up, despite facing numerous obstacles, such as claims of eminent domain by the garden site’s previous owners.
22. The Meatrix: In 2003, GRACE’s Sustainable Table produced The Meatrix, an award-winning short about factory farming. The Eat Well Guide was released with the movie, offering viewers information about more sustainable food choices.
23. The Price of Sugar: This poignant film examines the working conditions and treatment of Haitian sugarcane farmers, exposing their struggle for basic human rights as they work to bring consumers an ubiquitous kitchen staple.
24. The Scarecrow: Tex-Mex restaurant corporation Chipotle’s new video is a beautifully made short about one scarecrow’s quest to free his local food system from unsustainable, processed foods.
25. Taste the Waste: German documentary filmmaker Valentin Thurn focuses his lens on food waste. Taste the Waste won Best Film of 2011 in Germany’s Atlantis Environment and Nature Film Festival and a Documentary Film Award at EKOFILM International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.
26. WASTE: Wasting food has greater costs than just what the consumer pays: it also wastes fossil fuels, water, and other crucial environmental resources. From the makers of Taste the Waste, Food Waste TV sheds light on the larger effects of food waste.

slow meat

O Slow Food USA tem um projeto muito interessante sobre carne: Slow Meat.


Menos e melhor.
Precisamos comer menos e melhor.

Há 5 passos do campo à mesa (ou ao garfo):
- considerar uso de solo e água
- considerar manejo animal
- considerar processamento e distribuição
- considerar comercialização e varejo de alimentos saudável
- considerar consumo e nutrição infantil


leia também 'eating less meat curb climate change?'

24.11.14

18.7.14

Capinuriba (Rubus rosifolius)

Rubus rosifolius na praça François Berlanger


Capinuriba: “Erva coberta de espinhos que dá cachos de fruto”.
Deriva de quatro palavras do Tupi guaraní: CAÁ - erva, folha ou talo, PINÛ - urtiga ou coberto de espinho, ARY- cacho, IBÀ- fruto.
É popularmente conhecida por outros nomes como framboesa do campo, framboesa vermelha, amora de espinho, moranguinho, moranguinho de espinho, morango silvestre e framboesa silvestre.



O exemplar foi fotografado na Praça François Berlanger, no bairro de Sumarezinho na capital paulista.
Com ampla ocorrência em áreas sombreadas, apesar de se desenvolver bem em áreas mais abertas também. Ocorrendo em barrancos e campos secundários de Cerrado e Mata Atlântica.
Na praça esta planta está num pedaço bem abarrancada, sob árvores mas em uma parte mais aberta.

Mais informações botânicas do moranguinho em Flora SBS

15.5.14

O mito da abundância da água e a crise contemporânea.

Atualmente vivemos uma crise sistêmica de várias naturezas: social, econômico, político e ambiental são os mais evidentes. Todos eles são tratados como crises pontuais mas são reflexos de um mesmo problema, que é o modo de vida adotado por boa parte da humanidade a partir da década de 1950, período pós guerras que instaurou o modelo de produção industrial massiva.

Abaixo uma reflexão de um trecho tirado de artigo de página 22, que fez uma edição dedicada ao tema da água.
“No momento em que os governadores começam a recorrer ao governo Federal em uma competição pela água, já fica demonstrado que os problemas do acesso aos recursos hídricos não está sendo tratado no âmbito da gestão”, comenta a consultora especializada em serviços ambientais Marussia Whately, ex-coordenadora do Programa Mananciais do Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). “A situação do Sistema Cantareira é muito grave e trata-se claramente de um problema de gestão. Já se sabia há uma década que era preciso diminuir a dependência desse sistema e em 2009 um estudo apontou que ele tinha déficits importantes. Foi irresponsável ficar contando com as chuvas”, afirma Marussia.

Mas, afinal, de quem é a responsabilidade? A incerteza sobre esse ponto revela que os problemas de gestão têm sua raiz na ausência de um arranjo adequado de governança (mais em entrevista com o ex-presidente da ANA José Machado). Na opinião de Marussia, a crise foi desencadeada por um evento climático extremo, que não foi previsto porque a Sabesp não fez um acompanhamento metodológico adequado. No entanto, não cabe à empresa de saneamento o papel de fazer essa gestão, já que se trata de uma companhia de economia mista que visa lucro.

“A Sabesp tem se mostrado eficiente nos investimentos para redução de perdas e aumento da capacidade de abastecimento – porque isso dá lucro. Mas se trata de uma empresa que vende água e não faz sentido que ela convença seus consumidores a reduzir o consumo e o desperdício, o que é fundamental na gestão sustentável da água”, afirma a consultora.

De acordo com Marussia, jamais poderia caber à Sabesp a decisão de fazer um racionamento, por exemplo. “A Sabesp jamais optará pelo racionamento, mesmo que todos os reservatórios estiverem secos. Temos uma agência reguladora, temos comitês de bacias hidrográficas. Como a decisão pode ser da Sabesp? Esse é o maior indício de desmantelamento do sistema e de uma governança precária”, disse Marussia.