||After last year's tour, a new caravan hits the road this summer !
The swiss national research program "Utility and risks of dissemination of
genetically modified plants"(PNR 59) continues, and so does our struggle,
because we refuse having the real issues of this program occulted. Under
this program, tests are being conducted on outdoor fields, in Reckenholz
and in Pully (EPFZ, Zürich University, Agroscope Changins). They conduct
several studies on a genetically modified wheat in order to make it
resistant to powdery mildew. However, powdery mildew isn't really a
problem when the wheat is grown following other agricultural practices
and techniques. For instance, some GMO-free wheat and some seeds from
organic agriculture are already tolerating powdery mildew.
The PNR59 research program aims at introducing GMOs in Switzerland, and we
reject it as a whole !
This year, the 5-year moratorium passed in 2005, prohibiting the
introduction of GMOs in Switzerland, will expire but has been extended
till 2013. What can we expect from a moratorium, knowing that those are
often used by authorities to neutralize and freeze people-led struggles,
as it was the case with the anti-nuclear movement? While the entire world
is being used as a laboratory for the deployment of mass exploitation and
consumption of GMOs, Switzerland serves as a political laboratory. The
extension of the moratorium opens the possibility for policy makers to
lead their sociological studies in order to make the public opinion
“evolve”. But soil depletion, accidental disseminations, irreversible
damages caused to biodiversity, water pollution and so on, are the real
issues posed by GMO's. Same as the enslavement of farmers by agribusiness
multinationals, loss of peasant heritage (knowledge and seeds), patenting
of life and the common wealth, this for the sole purpose of making
profits. These patented clones exclusively serves an agro-chemical
industry which is eager to sell pesticides.
For an agriculture that respects soil, water, biodiversity, climate and
those who work the land!
An ecological agriculture is only possible if it remains local. It is
essential to understand that GMOs belong to a really particular kind of
agriculture: a totally industrialized agriculture; there, it is all about
huge farms, entirely mechanized, cultivating intensively, and using
irresponsible quantities of pesticides. A system that takes us right to
the wall. To this kind of agriculture, faces the smallholder agriculture
which did not wait the invention of GMOs to feed mankind for millennia!
Many farmers are struggling to preserve their independence. An increasing
number of farming projects are being developed in the context of the
Agriculture Contractuelle de Proximité (Proximity Farming Contracts),
allowing people to recover their control over food supplying, while
protecting producers. Direct sales, use of non-hybrid seeds, organic or
bio-dynamic productions are also ways to preserve peasant-oriented
approach of agriculture. Our tour is meant to express our solidarity with
For an autonomous agriculture, for the freedom to grow, sow and exchange
seeds without restrictions!
The use of GMOs raises the question of the patenting of living organisms.
Any modified organism, were it only be one single gene, may be patented:
this serves a clear commercial interest. Once an organism becomes a
patented one, nobody may grow it without authorization. No need to search
hard to discover to who that patentability benefits. Monsanto, for
example, systematically sues farmers who sow seeds unwittingly
contaminated by patented seeds, accusing them of “illegally using their
technology”. Each patent restricts the free access to a genetic heritage
that belongs to the entire humanity.
Against all patenting on seeds and the living, against capitalism that
wants to turn everything into commodities to make profits!
This year, the Bike Caravan links Pully (VD) to Reckenholz (ZH) from 19th
to 27th of June. It is open to anyone willing to participate, support
sustainable agriculture and reject all the patented pesticide clones the
GMOs represent. Jump on your bike and join the caravan! Or integrate the
Tour on it's way in one of the stage near your home! Participate actively
(spread flyer's and posters, make banners and info points, debates, street
theater, food, drinks, presentations, films...). Spread the word; connect
with farmers and other people willing to fight GMOs!
We are for any kind of resistance against GMO's, and for a diversity of
means of action!
See you soon on the road or on the fields!