Workshop E3 “The Soil Accuses Monsanto” at the International People’s Assembly in The Hague was organized by Navdanya International in collaboration with Save Our Soils and People 4 Soil, and held by Dr. Vandana Shiva, as well as former German Minister for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture Renate Künast, and former IFOAM director Bernward Geier.
The workshop underlined how soil, essential to the proper functioning of our ecosystem, must be put at the center of our political agenda if we are serious about fighting climate change.
“Preservation of the soil must be on the political agenda – we must tell people it is not just about climate change but also about soil. The new justice question around soil specifically is land grabbing. People must have access to land, water and seeds” Renate Künast
“We need an economy of permanence” Vandana Shiva stressed, “based on a model that cares for the soil”.
“If we manage to make significant progress in true cost accounting we will beat Monsanto because they completely cheat the system” Bernward Geier
Workshop “The soil accuses Monsanto”, short report by Bernward Geier:
Despite the fact of Sunday morning, 3rd day of the people’s assembly and the competition with five other workshops was our workshop with close to 50 people well attended. Credits for this certainly also go to the panelist speakers Vandana Shiva and the people’s assembly ambassador Renate Künast. The workshop was made possible and supported by the International Save our Soils campaign and namely the Dutch organic trader Nature & More. The organizer and moderator of the workshop Bernward Geier gave in the beginning an introduction to the topic with a powerpoint including impressive pictures from extremely eroded and terribly degradated Roundup Ready GMO Monsanto soil in Argentina, which he took directly in the neighborhood of the world’s most beautiful (organic) farm Laguna Blanca. He further emphasized the importance and relevance to take the criticize also as destroyer of soil and soil fertility to positive counter strategies. An important element is the fact that organic agriculture includes already true cost accounting in its “premium” price including its beneficial impact for soil. He illustrated this with examples from true cost accounting and consumer awareness building, e. g. in a supermarket where a huge pile of soil was brought to the produce section to show how much soil conventional food production consumes. Also the panel guests session picked up these important aspects and highlighted their opinions and support for organic agriculture as a solution to Monsanto’s soil and earth destroying (GMO & toxic chemical) package.