Posted on Thu, May 31, 2012 by Slow Food USA
1 Comments | Categories: Food Justice, News, Current Events,
Written by Tim Smith, Slow Food USA’s Associate Manager of New Media
Business as usual is not an option.” This is the main assertion of The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Education and Science Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environmental Organization (UNEP), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Bank.
“Business” in this case is industrial farming and the current global food system. This blunt claim came as a result of a 4 year assessment involving 400 scientists around the world who came to the conclusion that nations must embrace agroecologoy (the science of sustainable agriculture) in order to survive in an ever growing-every changing world. Since the report was relased, 59 countries have endorsed the report (the U.S. has not), but none have been able to follow through on their promises to improve their countries sustainable farming practices.
This June, however, the world’s leaders will gather once again for the U.N. Summit for Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20), a 20-year follow-up to the 1992 U.N. Summit also held in Rio. The combination of this report and this historic gathering of leaders around the issues of sustainable development has led to the creation of the Nourish 9 Billion – a campaign focused on transforming the food system from farm to fork. Slow Food USA shares the vision of Nourish 9 Billion (an initiative started by the Millennium Institute and the Biovision Foundation) for a world in which our children, and their children’s children, have access to plentiful, fresh, nutritious food and encourage our supporters to join us in signing on to the Nourish 9 Billion petition.
The call to action is simple—Our food is making us sick. The way it’s produced is wasting energy, destroying our environment, and depleting vital natural resources including soil, water and the diversity of plants and animal. More and more people have no access to healthy food. Meanwhile, our government has been supporting a destructive global food system that has little respect for life.
The solution: use this moment – the gathering of world leaders at Rio+20 – to push for leadership by the U.S. in 5 key areas:
- Phasing out the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animal farms by 2017.
- Prohibiting animal by-products in feed for food-production animals by June 2015.
- Eliminating 100 percent of perverse agricultural subsidies to industrial agriculture by 2022.
- Supporting and protecting small and family farmers, and respecting the freedom of local communities to produce, process, distribute, sell and consume the foods of their choice as they see fit, while protecting them from corporations and other organizations, or initiatives and projects, that exploit their resources (land, water, biodiversity and other natural resources, labor), and threaten their livelihoods.
- Enabling the conversion of 50 percent of total U.S. farmland to agroecology by 2022, and 100 percent by 2050, so that agriculture can feed the world while preserving nature.