Is there evidence of local and international success stories in policy advocacy towards removing toxic pesticides from our food system?
The month of October is here with us and with it a time of reflection and introspection..a time to take stock of some key policy advocacy wins….evidence of gradual policy shifts towards agro-ecology as a sustainable food system which is the pathway to food security and nutrition.
- During this month of October, a broad range of stakeholders come together in Rome, Italy, from the 12th to 18th, as the Civil Society Mechanism(CSM) to lobby for inclusion of their ideas into the Committee on World Food Security(CFS), framework, which informs global policy on food security and nutrition. http://www.fao.org/cfs/en/
- We take note that, while there is convergence and consensus on the definition of food securityhttp://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/faoitaly/documents/pdf/pdf_Food_Security_Cocept_Note.pdf there is growing discontent with the current focus on productivity per acreage, as means of achieving food security, as opposed to “nutrition per acre” which takes into consideration the human and environmental safety concerns of food production. file:///D:/User%20Documents/Downloads/sustainability-10-00272.pdf
- In view of the above food safety concerns, is there evidence that fossil fuel based synthetic pesticides, including those pesticides banned in Europe, are increasingly used locally, despite their harmful health consequences? Yes, there is damning evidence of “double standards” https://routetofood.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/RTFI-White-Paper-Pesticides-in-Kenya.pdf
- Is there evidence, that with the introduction of GMO crop varieties, the use of synthetic pesticides has increased and will continue toincrease? Yes. The case of USA is prove enough: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292944439_Trends_in_glyphosate_herbicide_use_in_the_United_States_and_globally
- Is there evidence of increased policy level awareness of the dangers of fossil fuel based synthetic pesticides, as exemplified by the most commonly used herbicide; glyphosate containing Roundup? Locally, policymakers representing health interests "clash" with their counterparts in agriculture: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/economy/Health--agriculture-officials-clash-on-safety-of-herbicide/3946234-5288368-1451rc9z/index.html
- Evidence that local media and the public are increasingly aware that Europe and China, among others, are deliberately “dumping” toxic pesticides, for profit, in African countries, including Kenya: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/article/2001343823/how-europe-china-are-killing-kenyans
- Do we have evidence that, while the agrochemical industry is busy proclaiming the “safety” of toxic pesticides, especially the popularly and most globally used Roundup “Weed killer”, it is instead, a broad spectrum “biocide”? https://www.organicconsumers.co.ke/150-why-glyphosate-a-roundup-formulation-is-not-only-a-carcinogen-but-also-a-biocide-it-kills-all-life-forms.html
- Do we have, more recent evidence that glyphosate, as contained in Roundup and similar formulations, is causing “intergenerational harm” to human beings, particularly through toxic reduction of sperm quantity and viability across generations? Here is the evidence, as published in Nature, a most reputable scientific journal: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-42860-0
- Finally, is there evidence of glyphosate’s increasing cancer risk? Of course, yes. Here: https://www.wakingtimes.com/2019/02/15/glyphosate-exposure-increases-cancer-risk-up-to-41-study-finds/ and here: https://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19156
In view of the increasing evidence on failure of the current food system, what is the way forward?
- There is need for urgent global and local food policy shifts to remove these toxic agrochemicals, especially pesticides, out of our food systems by banning them and shifting to safer and more sustainable agro-ecological food systems as pathways to achieve food security and nutrition.
- Need for concerted evidence based policy advocacy towards food sovereignty. https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/what-food-sovereignty