Meat factories booming – Environmental standards sinking – farmers disappearing
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This article is published in German in the reader 'Widerstand is Fruchtbar' by the Aktionsbündniss Globale Landwirtschaft zum G8 Gipfel 2007. The text is based on the BUND study “Fleischfabriken boomen – Umweltstandards sinken. Der Boom der Massentierhaltung in Deutschland und seine Folgen fuer die Umwelt”

The production of pork in the EU is increasing rapidly. But while 21,3 million tons are being produced, only 19,7 million tons are being consumed. This translates into an overproduction of almost 10 percent. In order to export this, there are about 200 million Euros in export subsidies for pork in the EU budget. This expresses and proves the power of the Agro-lobby in Brussels and Berlin.
The globalised pig is the main victim of the Agro lobby's attempts to dominate the world market.

Pigs and chickens – how animal breeding gets dominated by the biotech-business
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ImageWith stock-breeding there are animals and feed that those animals are supposed to eat so humans will be able to consume the meat, milk or the egg. This is in general a not very efficient way of producing food, but this is how it has been done for many millenniums. The scale of this process is increasing ever more and on the A SEED website you can find a lot of information about the problems that result from this.

But the developments continue: now there is the Monsanto pig™ that is eating Monsanto feed™. And also The Netherlands is participating with enthusiasm; Hendrix Genetics is one of the world leading companies when it comes to hybrid chicken, pigs and turkeys.

Paraguayan peasant movement on tour in Europe
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During the whole month of May a small team of A SEED, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Movimiento Agrario y Popular (MAP) will cross through various European countries. Info-evenings, meetings, action and filmfestivals will be held in which there will be a focus on large scale soy cultivation, genetechnology, agrofuels and resistance. Central in this tour is Gilda Roa, representative of the Paraguayan peasant organisation MAP.

Massacre in the department of Caaguazu – Paraguay
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On
June 26 2005, Brazilian growers of genetically modified soy, protected
by the police and military, attacked 
Tekojoja peasant community in Caaguazu, Paraguay. They evicted 270 people and burnt down
the crops and all 54 houses. 2 men, Ángel Cristaldo and
Luis Torres were killed, many were injured and 130 people, many
of them women and children, were arrested.

Smithfield’s sickening activities in Mexico
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Until the March 2009, the village of La Gloria in the cactus-filled hills of Mexico’s Sierra Madre was like any other neglected community in the country. However, since April 27 – when Mexico’s health minister told the world that the community of 3,000 was home to the earliest known case of the Mexican flu – events have taken a startling turn.

Action reports and other updates from the UN Biodiversity Summit in Bonn
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ImageFrom the 12 until the 30th of May the UN summit on Biodiversity (CBD) took place in the German town Bonn. But as expected the current problems with the food and climate crisis have not been solved by this meeting. Not even some serious steps in the right direction. But what can you expect with countries like Canada and Australia that mainly defend the interests of their large scale agriculture. Also delegations from European countries are thinking more about their multinationals and own decadent consumption pattern than about nature and a healthy and social food production.

Campesino Families Block Fumigation of Soy Fields in Paraguay
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ImageThursday, 10 January 2008 – One hundred campesino residents were able to block the agrotoxic fumigation of a new soy field in the 4th line of the Ybypé community in the Lima district of the department of San Pedro.

In this “line” [section] of the town, parcels of campesino land were sold to Brazilian soy growers, who dismantled the parcels entirely with tractors and planted soy. The residents, aware of the dangers represented by the pesticides used to fumigate the soy fields, have successfully resisted every intent to fumigate these parcels.

The climate problem is a food problem
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Potatoes in Greenland, olives in the south of England, bell peppers grown outside of greenhouses in the Netherlands. The warmer weather offers possibilities. Furthermore, thanks to the mild winters, we can start growing our crops a few weeks earlier than we used to. And a higher level of CO2 also ensures a quicker growth rate and higher profits. This is the good news.

In reality, climate change is also dangerous for food production. Also, agriculture contributes heftily to the emission of greenhouse gases. Both these effects will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Agrofools hit the road during Social Forum in Malmö
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ImageProtesters at petrol stations state “Agrofuels are no solution for the climate and energy problem!”

Malmö, Saturday 20 September 2008 – During the European Social Forum (ESF) about 50 people protested against the introduction of the large scale production of agrofuels. The devastating social and environmental consequences of the production of energy crops was a big issue in the presentations and discussions inside the ESF. The Agrofools decided that it was important to reach the people in the streets as well, and to explain that we have to choose between food and fuel.

Banner Action at GM Soy Conference
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Land reforms! NO Steakholder Conferences!

ImageAmsterdam – On the 9th of December (2008) A SEED Europe held a picket-line at a conference on genetically modified soy. The objective of the meeting was to discuss sustainability risks and benefits of GM soy and to formulate management options for companies.  A SEED reminded participants upon arrival that not only is GM still controversial, but so is large-scale soy production in general. A SEED did not participate in the conference itself because the announcement made clear that in our eyes crucial poignant issues in the (GM) soy debate were not open for discussion.

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