World Food Day Message from Vandana Shiva

Today, 16th October is World Food Day, a day when people all over the world are reminded of the shameful fact that more than one billion people go hungry and another billion are malnourished – this despite the fact that throughout the last decades, government institutions and multinational seed and food conglomerates have repeatedly declared they have the solution, one based on industrial agriculture, chemicals, GMOs and monocultures.

The FAO tells us that more than 70% of food comes from small farms and small farmers. Only 10% of the GMO corn and soya grown by Monsanto is consumed directly by us and only because that 10% is not labelled. If people had labelling and food freedom, that figure would be 0%. The other 90% goes to fuel cars and feed animals.

Contrary to what Monsanto proclaims, GMOs have led to a decline in yields and an increase in pesticide use, leading in turn to soil deterioration, biodiversity loss and farmer debt and suicides. In India, where Monsanto controls 95% of the cotton seeds, most of the 284,000 farmers suicides are in the cotton belt.*

In a just world, Monsanto should be tried for ecocide and genocide. Yet for World Food Day, with the full support of the powers most responsible for the state of hunger in the world, Monsanto is giving itself the World Food Prize!

We condemn this self-congratulatory accolade – the GMO emperor has no clothes. In the same way, we will not allow our Seed and Food Democracies to be hijacked by this outmoded, reductionist, mechanistic paradigm.

Let us honour all the REAL FOOD HEROES who bring us real food and defend our food freedom – small farmers and gardeners, mothers and chefs, honest and real scientists. Let us celebrate those who save and exchange seed, preserve biodiversity and enrich our soils, and who, through their actions, are building food security all over the world and in communities everywhere with VIBRANT ALTERNATIVES, based on SEED FREEDOM and FOOD FREEDOM.

Dr. Vandana Shiva
World Food Day, 16th October 2013