Anti-GM campaign heightened/Farmer protests around the world / Lula's latest betrayal (20/4/2004)

No wonder Lula won a Captain Hook award for deceit and betrayal - see item 5

1.Anti-GM campaign heightened
2.[Germany's] Minister intends to expand compulsory GMO labeling
3.Demonstrators Urge Farmer Protection - US
4.Actions around the World - Via Campesina
5.Lula's latest betrayal - GM labels

1.Anti-GM campaign heightened
Tuesday 20 April 2004

Greenpeace has announced plans to step up its campaign against genetically modified foods, as new laws come into effect across the European Union. The latest directive (EU Regulation 1829/2003), which covers traceability and labelling, does not require meat or milk from an animal fed on GMOs to be labelled as GM-produce – a condition opposed by campaigners.

"With half the world's soya, which is widely used in food products and animal feed, now GE, the urgency is clear for all to see," said Dan Hindsgaul from Greenpeace.

"If seed contamination is legalised through thresholds, there will soon be no choice left for anybody, be they farmer or consumer," added Eric Gall, political advisor at Greenpeace EU unit. "Consumer choice will only be secured when seeds and European agriculture are protected from genetic contamination, and when GM seed companies can be held liable for any damage caused by their products to the environment and to organic and conventional farmers."

2.[Germany's] Minister Künast intends to expand compulsory GMO labeling

Berlin (dpa) – [German] Federal Minister for Consumer Affairs, Renate Künast, wants additional compulsory GMO labeling. The requirement should also apply to products made from animals that were raised on genetically modified feed. The focus is on meat, eggs and dairy products. Künast told [German TV network] ZDF that she had tried to achieve acceptance for this with the EU Commission but that EU Commissioner David Byrd had rejected it. From this Sunday on all genetically modified ingredients will have to be labeled on products in a special way.
Freitag 16. April 2004, 08:53 Uhr
Ministerin Künast möchte Gen-Kennzeichnungspflicht ausdehnen

3.Demonstrators Urge Farmer Protection
Caledonian Record, VT

During a rally on the Vermont-Quebec border Saturday, family farm supporters urged locals to fight free trade with Central America.

Gov. James Douglas, they said, has committed Vermont to the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement.

The speakers at Baxter Park, representing farm groups from Quebec, Vermont and several Midwestern states, said the agreement will benefit corporations, not families. Douglas can be persuaded to back away from the agreement.

The rally culminated a week in Montpelier promoting efforts to help family farmers and fight genetically engineered crops.

The approximately 35 people also applauded Sen. Vincent Illuzzi, R-Essex-Orleans, for reporting a bill to make manufacturers liable for problems with genetically engineered crops.

Introduced as "a true champion" of farmers by Rural Vermont lobbyist Amy Shollenberger, Illuzzi said the bill offers protection for the Vermont organic farmer who faces contamination. "There's quite a market for organic products," Illuzzi said.

Organic farmers, like dairyman Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, must meet strict standards to show that his cows were fed and cared for organically. Genetically engineered crops have been shown to contaminate neighboring farm fields, the farm speakers said.

The bill was passed by the Senate but has been stuck in the House Agriculture Committee chaired by Rep. William Johnson, R-Canaan, Illuzzi said. He urged farmers to call Johnson and "give him a friendly reminder."

Speakers celebrated that a right-to-know bill, requiring the labeling and registration of genetically engineered seed, has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate.

Another bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee calls for a moratorium on the planting of engineered crops in Vermont. Seventy-nine towns in Vermont have passed resolutions saying no to such crops.

The group included Rural Vermont board Chairman Dexter Randall of Troy, Bill Wenzel, the national director of Farmer-to-Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering, and Charles Bergeron of the Organic Agriculture Center of Quebec.

Most of the speeches were on the international situation, with free trade spreading corporate farming.

More free trade benefits Monsanto, said Doyle Canning, a lobbyist with Rural Vermont.

Free trade is "pitting farmer against farmer in a race to the bottom," she said, adding that free trade is lowering prices so much that family farms are forced out of business.

The rally ended with a march along Derby Line's Main Street and border-hugging Caswell Avenue to the bridge over Interstate 91 between the two countries' ports of entry.

Three state police cruises escorted the small march, and Border Patrol agents were out in force, watching Derby Line's four streets that cross into Stanstead, Quebec.

4.Via Campesina
International farmers movement
Movimiento campesino internacional
Mouvement paysan international
Actions around the World
April 17, 2004
International Day of Peasant Struggle
Attached: list of actions as of April 16

Peasant and farmers movements together with social movements are protesting the policies of the World Bank, strengthening the struggle for land, and defending food sovereignty.
List of actions for "17 April"
Period of action for foodsovereignty and genuine agrariar reform.  WTO, the World Bank-IMF and transnational corporations out of food and agriculture.
Activities and actions from 26 countries are in this list
Andine Region
15 of April: Social movements from Bolivia, Ecuador, Perú, Colombia and Venezuela organise the first joint "Andine" days of protest against FTAA and the bilateral agreements with the USA.  www.noalca.org and http://alainet.org  Contact: [email protected]
Secretariat of the  Continental Campaign against FTAA/FTA [email protected]
Press conference by the "Agrarbuendnis" (Agrarian coalition) Contact: Elisabeth Baumhöfer [email protected]
17 of April: activities in the South of the country.
Organised by Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Contact: [email protected][email protected]
17th of April: Action of FIAN together with other organisations directed at the Belgian government and their responsability regarding World Bank policies. Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
13 and 14 of April: seminar in the European Parliament on the policy of the European Union regarding development cooperation and landreform policies organised by CPE/Via Campesina, War on Want and FIAN y 11.11.11. Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
19-23 of April: Belgian-Brazilian week to conmemorate the massacre in Carajas-Brazil, to claim justice and to support the actions of MST. Organiser: Mensenbroeders. Contact: [email protected]
The Landless Movement -MST has started since the end of March broad mobilisations and land occupations to pressure the Lula-government to reach the goals of their National Plan for Agrarian Reform that foresees the settlement of 4000.000 families. Until the 12th of April MST had started 66 occupations mobilising ca 20.000 families in 14 states in Brazil. See also: http://www.mst.org.br Contact:  [email protected] ; [email protected]
16 of April: In the province of Saskatchewan will be a Beyond Factory Farming Day of Action. The purpose of the events is to educate the public and government representatives about the economic, social, environmental and health impacts of intensive livestock operations and hog factories that are destroying the fabric of rural Canada. The NFU is a member of the Beyond Factory Farming coalition.
Contact: [email protected]
17 of April: Launch of  the film "Hope and Resistance" on the Mexico-Québec peasant caravan. Organised by the Committee for Social Justice, the Christian Committee for Human Rights in Latin Amercia and the Union Paysanne.  Contact: [email protected]
17 of April, 11h00: Trafkintu (Exchange ) of Seeds - Temuco IX Region, Comuna Curarrehue organised by Anamuri (www.anamuri.cl )
17 of April, 10h00:  Coloque on "Peasant struggles in Latin Amercia", in el Palacio Ariztía, seat of the Cámara de Diputados en Santiago, organised by the Comite Plataforma por la tierra Agro-chile treinta año (Platform for Land Agri-Chile 30 years).
15 and16 of April in several cities in the country mobilisations will be organised against FTAA, WTO etc. Call to mobilize by trade-unions, peasant- and other social movements (debates, meetings, marches mobilisations,...).
24 , 25 and  26 of April: plenary of the Convergence of peasant-, black- and indigenous organisations in Bogota.
27 and 28 of April: Via Campesina Colombia, Friends of the Earth and other environmental networks  in Colombia organise activities on seeds.
29 and 30 de April: National Popular Gathering in Bogota with peasant organisations, social movements and NGO’s on the situation in Colombia, democratic security, FTAA, policies of Uribe and the proposals of the social movements.
1 of May - Mobilisation because of International Labour Day. Contacts: [email protected] , [email protected]
17 of April: CONFEUNASSC-CNC, member of  CLOC and Vía Campesina, calls to join forces in a day of struggle in Quito against FTAA and the bilateral trade agreements. Contact Confeunassc-cnc: [email protected]
El Salvador
19 of April: Press Conference on peasant rights and the land problem.
Organiser: ANTA
Contacto: Carlos Rodríguez e-mail: [email protected]
18th of April: Big demonstration in Stuttgart for GM free agriculture Contact: [email protected]
Various activities by FIAN-Germany and FIAN Internacional
Contact: Vilmar Schneider [email protected], Kofi Yakpo [email protected] or
Armin Paasch [email protected]
Press conference on peasant rights
Organiser: CONIC
Contacto: Juan Tiney     E-mail: [email protected]  ó [email protected]
16 of April: Consejo Coordinador de Organizaciones Campesinas de Honduras (COCOCH) action and press conference during its National Congres, Tegucigalpa
Contacto: [email protected], [email protected]
A public dialogue is organised  against the World Bank organized by FSPI, WALHI and KAU in Jakarta as well as a national seminar on impacts of World Bank policy on market oriented landreform in Indonesia.
22 of  April: demonstration at the World Bank office in Jakarta with various NGOs such as WALHI, Koalisi Anti Utang, LS-ADI, FMN, FPPI, STN, FNPBI, UPC and peasants from FSPI etc.
For more information please contact FSPI (Indra Lubis) at +62 21 80882492 or +62-81631955550  Email: [email protected] 26 of April: Seminar on Privatization of Water at Padang, West Sumatera Province by Serikat Petani Sumatera Barat - SPSB (West Sumatera Peasant Union). Member of FSPI.
19 of April: Seminar on Privatization of water at Bandar Lampung, Lampung Province by Serikat Petani Lampung - SPL (Lampung Peasant Union). Member of FSPI.
15 of April: debate on cotton with participation of COAG and ROPPA (West-African farmers network)
16 of April: Seminar on Africa with participation of ROPPA
Organised by Crocevia, Bioparco di Roma, WWF-Italia. Contact: [email protected]
17 of april: the group of Mani Tese from Mestre organises a day of festivities and information on the issue of the landless with music, theatre, video and conference.
17 of april: The MST support group will give to the Brazilian ambassador a letter and 19 flowers symbilising the persons massacred in Carajas.
18 of April in the State of Chihuahua a Peasant Forum is organised in the City of Cuauhtémoc to inform about Via Campesina and trade liberalisation and to discuss a boycott of Nestle and Monsanto. Contact: Frente Democratico Campesino: [email protected]
Actions of the Frente  de Defensa Campesino de Acapulco
Contacto Félix Castellanos Hernández  Email: [email protected]
14 of April: UNAC organises a march with 1000 peasants. The march will end with a traditional meal. Contact: [email protected]
15-20 de abril: Mobilisation near Managua with 200 that march to the capital in national protest and te defend peasant rights.
Organiser: Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC)
Contact: Fauto Torres [email protected]
Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) organises a dialogue between peasant- and other representatives of civil society, and the government. Contact: [email protected]
Spanish State
12 of April: press conference with presentation of the co-ordination and its activities.
13 of April: handing over of letter to the regional government asking for a ban of GMO- crops.
16 of April: radio program of the alternative radio "Radio Sele". (www.radiosele.net)
17 of April: street theater in Uvieu/Oviedo.
19 of April: round table on worldwide peasant issues in the Press Club of Asturias.
23 and 24 of April: Seminar of Sodepaz-Pachakuti in the Pola de Siero with visit of  Evo Morales and other friends from the Americas.
More information: Ánxel Rodríguez [email protected]  Tel.: +34-9-85087562
The Xarxa Agroecològica organises several activities on the 17 and 18 of April: conferences, a concert for Palestina, direct actions. Contact:  [email protected]
Mallorca: The Social Forum of  Mallorca supports this International day of Peasant struggle. Mas informacion:  www.forumsocialdemallorca.org   Contact: [email protected]
Pais Vasco
EHNE participates in two actions:
16 of April: action to burn GMOs of  Monsanto and Syngenta in Gasteiz.
14-18 of April: a week of public debates on food sovereignty, GMOs etc in Iruña
Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
17 of April: With the Social Forum of Valencia CERAI organises in Valencia a video forum to supprt the internatioonal day of peasant struggles.
Sri Lanka
MONLAR organises support for the Via Campesina call among social movements in Sri Lanka.   Contact: [email protected]
17 de April: Rally in Geneva to defend  "Food Sovereignty for a more equitable and ecological globalization"  Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
A public-information campaign regarding a plan to replace a major part of sugar-beet based sugar production with that of sweetener made from corn is launched. The campaign is supported by the Chamber of Medical Doctors, the Union of Architects and Engineers Chambers, the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, the Confederation of Public Employees Unions, the Chamber of Veterinarians, the Consumers Federation, the Villager Cooperatives, and the Agriculture and Forestry Union, and the Small Farmer Unionization Initiative Committee. These organizations will distribute 10,000 posters to their members, village cafés, and other gathering places throughout the country. A message explaining the campaign will be sent to major media on April 17. Contact: [email protected]
United States
17 of April: actions in  Vermont for foodsovereignty and against GMOs
Contacts: Amy Shollenberger (+1-802) 223-7222 NFFC (+1-202) 543-5675  Bill Wenzel (+1-877) 968-3276 www.gefreevt.org  (+1-802)793-1725
15-17 april Conference in Yale University on food sovereignty with address of George Naylor (NFFC).  Contact: George Naylor (+1-515) 544-3464 NFFC (+1-202) 543-5675
23 of april: mobilisation in Washington against Worldbank and IMF Participate: Public Citizen, Focus, NFFC,.... Contact: [email protected][email protected]
17th of april in Sebastopol, California: Teach in of  "Reclaim the Commons" who will  mobilize against Bio2004, a big national gathering of corporate executives and lobbyists of the biotech industry.  Contact: Erik Ohlsen [email protected],   www.reclaimthecommons.net  
See also:
English: http://www.viacampesina.org/rub_english.php3?id_rubrique=16 (chapter "17th of april")
Spanish: http://www.viacampesina.org/rub_sp.php3?id_rubrique=33  (capitulo 17 de April)
French: http://www.viacampesina.org/rub_fr.php3?id_rubrique=47  (chapitre 17 avril)
secretaria operativa/operative secretariat: Apdo Postal 3628 Tegucigalpa, MDC Honduras, C.A. Tel & fax : + 504 220 1218   E-mail: [email protected] Tegucigalpa, MDC., Honduras, C.A., 16th of  April, 2004

5.Lula's latest betrayal - GM labels
Prof Luiz Eduardo Carvalho in Brazil has explained that claims that Brazil have improved their GM label laws..

- are fraudulent. Instead of labelling all ingredients over 4% GM, as under thew previous law, the new 1% GM  label law only applies to the WHOLE product - thereby ensuring that fewer products are labelled than before. This is to help out certain big food interests that process a lot of soya.

No wonder Lula won a Captain Hook award for deceit and betrayal!

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