May 22 is designated by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are known to have negative effects on biodiversity and there are international rules for handling GM crops to try to deal with the risks. There are indeed many examples of how GM crops threaten the environment and human health in the countries were GM crops are grown. This year, on May 28 we will screen two documentary movies that highlight such problems in the United States, Argentina and Romania. The movies are in English and Romanian (with English subtitles) but the seminar with our experts will be in Japanese.
Part 1: Growing Doubt & U TURN
Movie: Growing Doubt
Renowned agricultural economist Dr. Charles Benbrook was commissioned by Greenpeace to make the first ever forecast of the impact by authorising the cultivation of genetically engineered herbicide tolerant corn and soy. Greenpeace has also travelled through Argentina and USA to speak to farmers and their communities about how herbicide tolerant crop monocultures have affected their economy, environment and community. These first person accounts formed the basis for the documentary Growing Doubt. Witness accounts from Argentina and USA and Dr. Benbrook’s forecast report present a grim view of a future with GMOs: the over-reliance on herbicide-tolerant crops in the U.S. has triggered the emergence and rapid spread of nearly two dozen glyphosate-resistant weeds, driving up farm production costs, as well as the volume and toxicity of herbicides needed to prevent major yield loss.
For more info: www.growingdoubt.org
Movie: U TURN
It is a success story that completes the circle of a 13 year campaign to end GMOs in food and feed. In 2005 Romania was growing only GMO soy, while the biotech industry had control over the country at all levels: politicians, scientific community and farmers associations. Some of them had been threatening GMO campaigners with violence. Today they have changed their minds in front of an increasing GMO-free market demand. The former country manager of Monsanto is today the country manager of Danube Soya, to promote sustained GMO-free soya bean cultivation in Europe. The movie is an uplifting sample of success for campaigners all over the world showing that the biotech industry can be defeated and the darkest minds can be shifted. If a whole country can get decontaminated and a Monsanto manager can be converted then positive change is possible!
Part 2: Seminar
Kawata Masaharu (Food & Agriculture Network)
Amagasa Keisuke (Science journalist and co-chair of Consumers Union of Japan)
Date: May 28, 2017 (Sun) 13:30-16:00
Place: Muse Kawasaki Symphony Hall 2 Fl Room #1
Access: 3 min from JR Kawasaki station
Entrance: 500 Yen Organizer: FA Net Japan