Tractor Blockade Enters 10 Week
by Kimberly Hartke
Where is the International News coverage? Hello CNN?
A colorful and newsworthy tractor blockade protest is taking place all over Poland, and we have yet to see the news coverage here in the United States of America. By and large, Genetically Modified Organism news is scarce here. I believe we need more news coverage of the GMO controversy for two reasons. One, the U.S. populace knows very little about the health and economic impact of GMO crops, and two, for those “in the know” it is a huge deal. Last years defeat of the California ballot initiative wouldn’t have happened if the general public was more educated about biotechnology and GMOs.
Last week, British artistocrat, Sir Julian Rose and a group of anti-GMO farmers continued their protest, against the attempted imposition of GM crops in both Poland and Britain. See his guest blog on Hartke is Online!: Polish Farmers Protest Sale of Land for GM Crops
If you want to know more about the health hazards of GMOs (genetically modified foods), see Jeffrey Smith’s Institute for Responsible Technology website.
Accompanied by Goldman Laureate Jadwiga Lopata and Polish citizens living in the UK, he delivered a ‘letter of support’ to the Polish Embassy for the attention of the Ambassador, Mr Witold Sobkow, saying:
“It is crucial that farmland should remain in the hands of genuine farmers and not sold-off to giant international corporate interests whose sole motives are profit and power. It’s in all our interests to stand in support of actions that resist the planting of transgenic laboratory foods that cannot be prevented from cross contaminating other crops.”
The letter expressed solidarity with protesting Polish farmers who are staging extensive tractor blockading actions in five Provinces of Poland in support of their demands:
- Stop the selling-off of Polish farmland to foreign multinational corporations.
- Ban, by law, the planting and trading of GM crops on Polish soils.
- Remove onerous regulations that inhibit and prohibit the sale of made on the farm produce in local shops.
Here is another blog by Julian explaining what’s at stake on the issue: Help Keep Poland GMO Free. More photos of protest demonstration may be seen on the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC) website
What You Can Do to Help
- Send this blog post to any reporter you know in the mainstream media. Suggest they cover the issue, or refer it on to someone who will.
- Sir Julian asks you to write letters of support to encourage the farmers who have been protesting for over a month. This is the letter I wrote.
Dear Brave men and women:
I am writing to thank you for your campaign to preserve the Polish countryside and the “GMO FREE” status of your nation.
It is very important to the world community to highlight this important human health and farming issue.
Please know that food activists in America care and are with you in spirit!
Regards, Kimberly Hartke
Please send your letter of support to julian (at) icppc.pl
And, 3. Look for the GMO free label! If we won’t buy it, they’ll quit planting it!
Kimberly Hartke is a featured blogger on Village GreenNetwork.
This post is part of the feisty Fight Back Friday blog carnival on Food Renegade.