Safeguarding Food and Agriculture
Did you know:
- The number of farms in the EU fell from 7.4 million in 1995 to 6.7 million in 2000.
- While the prices we pay for food can seem high, the price paid to farmers is very low, sometimes even below their production costs.
- Corporate control of food and the dominance of supermarkets take us further away from the food sovereignty we need now and for the future.
- Biofuels drain food away from feeding people and threaten to drive up food prices at a time when industry lobbyists claim we need to increase food production to feed a hungry world.
European agriculture is changing, and not always for the better.
Small-scale family farms — for centuries the backbone of European economic vitality — are disappearing at an alarming rate as the interlocking forces of industrial farming and agribusiness consolidation gain ground. This threatens our economies, the environment and food safety.
European agricultural policy claims to improve the “efficiency” and “competitiveness” of our farming, but it fails to count the cost. Rather than support jobs and communities, policies foster increased reliance on imported industrial soya as cheap fuel for factory farms while communities overseas pay the price. Rather than respond to calls for food sovereignty, subsidies support the biggest operators.
Rather than support real farming and proper safety standards, companies looking to keep profits up often turn to techno-fixes which put our health and environment at risk. Poorly tested genetically modified crops find their way into the food chain based on safety assessments provided by the companies that sell them, and we have to pay more to avoid them. Nanotechnology is in our sunscreen already, and many want to see it in our food and packaging, even though it isn’t properly regulated. Food is irradiated to keep dirty industrial food processing plants on line.
Food & Water Europe is working to expose the worst of these techno-fixes and the political power pushing them onto our plates — and to halt their spread. Read the letterwe sent to the UK Government with the African Centre for Biosafety and The Gaia Foundation, challenging the UK’s support for a major project pushing ill-judged agricultural techno-fixes on African farmers. Read our submission to the UK Government’s industrial policy consultation on exporting farming techno-fixes.