Read this remarkable manifesto, written by Vandana Shiva and Ruchi Shroff, published by Navdanya International and the National Heirloom Exposition in pdf form here.
This twenty page booklet was produced in printed and distributed freely at the National Heirloom Exposition on September 8, 9, and 10, 2015 in Santa Rosa, California.
Humanity has sustained itself through organic agriculture for the last 10,000 years, working with nature, using nature’s inherent urge to grow, adapt, create diversity; selecting good seeds for nutrition, taste and resilience. Food is Organic and despite corporate efforts, 70% of the food people eat worldwide still comes from small farms. Organic can feed the world if it was allowed to create the abundance it can deliver instead of being criminalised.
Since the second world war, fought over the control of resources, Oil Companies and Chemical Corporations that were beneficiaries of the World Wars – like Monsanto – have influenced geopolitical policy (masquerading as food policy) to create peace-time demand for and dependence on fossil fuels and toxic chemicals in the global food system. A system waging war on nature and human beings forcing countries to use war chemicals and technologies in the name of agricultural innovation. A system that creates heavily subsidised chemical food and commodities that are incapable of nourishing humanity or protecting the planet and its vital ecological processes. A system that, by design, wastes 50% of global food and creates global hunger leaving a billion people perpetually hungry and 2 billion people suffering from food related diseases. A system that contributes 40% of green house gas emissions and is largely responsible for the climate crisis we face.
Within the last century, healthy, natural, organic food has been made more difficult to produce because of the chemical pollution, at first, and genetic pollution, more recently. A handful of companies have spread these toxics across our planet diverting US$ 400 Billion of public money to subsidise their high cost chemical commodities to make them artificially “cheap”. The costs of this “cheap” food are astronomical in terms of the health of people, the ecological damage it causes and it’s exploitation of farmers. If the true costs of chemical food were taken into account it would be unaffordable. Instead of subsidising chemical food and creating epidemics of food related diseases, public money, used for nourishment and the protection of public health through organic food would save us billions in health care. Denying people their right to healthy, poison-free food by manipulating laws, policy, science and the use of public money to impose a non-sustainable, unhealthy food is food-dictatorship.
This food-dictatorship has now grown to threaten our seeds, the source of all food. Without the diversity of open-pollinated, freely available, freely exchanged open-source seed humanity will not have food – we will only have toxic commodities.