The Union of Agricultural Work Committees, an organization dedicated to assisting Palestinian farmers in the fight for sovereignty over their trade and their land, was born in 1986. ElRahman, the organization’s board chairman, visited the United States for the first time this year to receive the Food Sovereignty Prize from the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance on October 15 in Des Moines, Iowa.
When President Barrack Obama stated in his recent State of the Union address that one avenue to advance the economy was to increase U.S. agricultural exports, I cringed. Right out of Milton Friedman, export agriculture is the neo-liberal free market capitalist approach to agriculture that, if anything, has been successful in destroying family farmers. Obama’s announcement was yet another death-knell to the world’s family farmers. It was a gift to corporate agribusiness. It meant yet another wave of family farmers throughout the world being forced off the land resulting in another period of rural repression and dislocation. Don’t think when you read this that the scenario is somewhere other than the United States. This is a U.S. story as well.
We are pleased to announce that NFFC President, Ben Burkett was awarded the 2014 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award on October 27th. The award was given to Ben primarily for his work with The Federation of Southern Cooperatives and their Land Assistance Fund, which aims to enhance and stabilize income for family farms across the south.
San Francisco, CA – A coalition of farmers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today on behalf of six Midwest states where a toxic herbicide cocktail called Dow’s Enlist Duo, a blend of glyphosate and 2,4-D, was approved on October 15 for use on genetically engineered (GE) crops.
Every year since 1986, the Norman Borlaug fan club, made up of the big winners in the Green Revolution, has awarded a prize to some corporate tiller of the field. The “World Food Prize” is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa in the former public library building. From this modest address, the chemical producers, giant combine builders, soybean processors and hog owners give the award mostly to researchers who have helped build the system of patented seeds and chemical inputs—a system that excludes small farmers and has convinced the rest of us that chemically-flavored soy paste and corn sweeteners are nutrition.
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) is honored to name the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine, based in Gaza and the West Bank, and Community to Community Development /Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) of Bellingham, Washington, as co-recipients of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize.
NFFC members and staff joined the multitudes participating in various events at last weekend’s Climate Summit.
A Food First writer suggests Monsanto may have a larger hand in International Agricultural Decision-making than the FAO with the growing influence of precision agriculture.
Despite many months of working to the contrary, the National Family Farm Coalition learned last Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had determined that Dow’s Enlist corn and soy were safe for release to the public for planting. Enlist corn and soy have been genetically engineered to resist both glyphosate (or Roundup) and 2,4-D, a component of agent orange used to defoliate Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war. We are extremely disappointed that USDA ignored the concerns of farmers and consumers around these two GMOs that could (and likely will) contaminate fields of non-GMO and organic corn and soy. We are even more disturbed about the likelihood of drift of the pesticides 2,4-D and glyphosate.