Voice of Farmers at the Monsanto Tribunal Programme

The Risk-Monger and March Against Myths NL are holding a counter-event to the fake Monsanto Tribunal on 14 October 2016 in The Hague. It will take place from 9:00 – 10:30 at the Globe conference centre just a few hundred metres from the location of the activist’s “People’s Assembly”. The objective is to give farmers a voice in the debate on agri-technology (seeds, pesticides, NBTs). Too much of the debate has been driven by the organic food industry lobby which aims to undermine conventional farming with fear campaigns. The programme will run as follows:

David Zaruk, The Risk-Monger, Introduction

Ganesh Nanote, Indian Bt Cotton farmer

Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter, GM Papaya

Olly Harrison, UK Cereal farmer, Merseyside

Dr. Willi Kremer-Schillings, German sugar beets, OSR farmer

About the speakers

Ganesh Nanote grows Bt cotton in Vandana Shiva’s so-called “suicide belt” in India.Ganesh became well-known in the West due to an article about how technology has helped Indian farmers. Ganesh has been growing Bt cotton on his farm in India since 2002 and has done very well by it. He will be Skyping in with a Hindi interpreter. In the article, Ganesh says that farmers rarely have a voice in this debate. Giving Ganesh a voice on behalf of all Indian farmers is an important part of this event! We will release a short film of Ganesh on his farm as one of the event’s highlights.

Joni Kamiya is known for her agvocacy work in Hawaii: fertile ground for the anti-agri-tech campaigners. She frequently blogs on her site https://hawaiifarmersdaughter.com/  Two decades ago, her father, a second generation papaya farmer, told her to study something else because the deadly ringspot virus was wiping out almost all Hawaiian papaya. Then researchers worked with her family, and Joni herself was trained how to do lab tests, to help develop a genetic modification that was credited with saving Hawaiian papaya. Today Joni still picks papaya every week on the farm as it now is passing to the third generation.

Olly Harrison is a cereals farmer from Merseyside, UK. He practices no-till farming on his 1000 acre+ land and he will be explaining the benefits and the reality of using pesticides. Olly also has a unique story to tell. This year he planted five acres of sunflowers as a test, and then decided not to harvest them but to leave them for the birds for the winter. A friend of his had breast cancer so the idea came to ask people to sponsor a sunflower plant to raise money for Liverpool Sunflowers – a charity that supports families fighting cancer. So far he has raised over £6000 and the birds are starting to feast on the 40-60,000 sunflowers! See the BBC report on Olly’s action or go to his charity page to sponsor a plant.

Dr. Willi Kremer-Schillings is better known as Farmer Willi (Bauer Willi) and has become a legend in Germany. Not only does he grow sugar beets and OSR, he also harvests embarrassment from German politicians on national TV. Farmer Willi tells it like it is and attained enormous global attention when he wrote a letter to consumers (six million people read it, in four languages). See his website (in German).
There will be organic farmers from the Monsanto Tribunal People’s Assembly who will be attending. They have been offered the microphone as well.

To wrap up, we will release a short document based on research done by volunteers from the March Against Myths NL which address all of the claims of the witnesses from the Monsanto Tribunal.

For more information and to register, please go to https://risk-monger.com/voice-of-farmers-event/

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