By Vicent Boix
Hundreds of thousands of people. Grouped in environmental and religious organizations, NGOs, NGDOs, farmers, consumers, peasants, etc. Fighting for a righteous dream called "Food Sovereignty". Feeding the planet.
Acsud "Las Segovias", Friends of the Earth, The Coordinator of Agrarian and Livestock Organizations (COAG), Cáritas, Union of Farm Workers, Veterinarians without Borders, Sodepaz, Entrepueblos, Confederation of Consumers and Users (CECU), Ecologists in Action … and more.
All these organizations came together to form the Rural Platform, which at the same time is part of the "European Movement for Food Sovereignty and another CAP", which includes more organizations such as ATTAC, Slow Food, La Via Campesina and it goes on and on.
Hundreds of thousands of people. Feeding the planet.
In Europe the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is being debated. In a recent communiqué, social organizations welcomed the progress made by the European Commission in terms of the fairer distribution of agricultural subsidies.
These subsidies, apart from falling mainly on landowners and aristocrats, are patches to resist the onslaught in the absence of policies that protect small farmers and consumers from the abuse of intermediaries and the irrational ups and downs of the almighty market. As with the climate crisis, there is no impact on the real causes that originate the problem and temporary measures are sought to mask it, perpetuate it and make it less politically incorrect for society.
As the Rural Platform denounces "The European Commission continues to believe that the agriculture and food markets are efficient and that 'competitiveness' will bring fair solutions", but "The European and global crisis have demonstrated the failure of policies aimed at' free 'market and international trade rules ".
Civil society, in the voice of these organizations, demands structural measures that solve the problems of agriculture. A sector that hundreds of millions of people live and work in the world. That provides food. Because you can do without computers, books, telephones, pens, cars, pants or beer. But never, never, never ... you can do without food.
The stakes are high and the political class ignores, kneels before the multilateral organizations, protects the interests of the "market God" and bows to big capital.
At this point, it would be interesting to ask ourselves, not only in whose hands the food will be in the future, but what type of democracy is this where the proposals of society are systematically ignored and misplaced. Democracy is a verb and not a noun.
Rosita, in Córdoba and still, you were prettier.
In recent days, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States (COREPER) has approved the agreement between the European Union and Morocco, which will liberalize trade between the two regions.
In this way, Spanish agriculture receives its umpteenth blow in the face of the silence of its government and the COAG labels this attitude as "irresponsible". According to the union, the future of the proposal is now in the hands of the European Parliament which will deliberate on the matter next year.
This agreement, if advanced, will allow the entry of agricultural products from the African country, which are much cheaper due to lower production costs.
Exporting and accessing European markets, far from the myths spread even by some NGOs, will not benefit Moroccan small farmers and they will even be more harmed as agro-exports are promoted, in this case in the direction of the European Union.
Two years ago, in my article "The farmer in danger of extinction",  I indicated that the Institute of Foreign Trade had collected that "75% of the Moroccan agricultural area corresponds to small family farms, practically dedicated to agriculture of subsistence. The remaining 25% are made up of large, modern irrigated agricultural holdings with a clear export vocation "
Two types of agriculture, as can be seen, and therefore, those who benefit most from the liberalization of the market are not the small farmers but the owners of these modern farms that they sow for export. This is not to say that small farmers, in some cases, end up selling their crops in foreign markets. But in this situation, dependence on the intermediary is usually brutal, who ends up establishing the price and purchase conditions. This is how the supposed advantages derived from the opening of markets end up being diluted and disappearing before the voracity of the intermediary. Therefore, without a decent and fair price, the neoliberal measures, for the little ones, remain in borage water.
This aspect of the middleman is one of the core problems facing agriculture. An example is the "Price Index at Origin and Destination of Foods", produced in Spain by the COAG, the UCE and the CEACCU. According to the 2009 global index, the prices received by a farmer for the sale of his food multiplied its value by five once they were placed on the shelves of the shops. The abuse is such that in many cases farmers are abandoning the land because they simply do not cover the expenses.
In the case of Morocco, large, modern and export-oriented farms are in the hands of landowners. Even many of these lands are in the power of Spanish landowners who relocated production to get more revenue. The Moroccan monarch himself is the owner of large tracts of land where oranges sprout -among other crops- that are bought and distributed by Valencian wholesalers, competing and displacing local production.
I also pointed out in this work how Moroccan peasants had been expelled from their lands to be used for the export business. Therefore, with liberalizing agreements such as the one supported by COREPER, agriculture, the livelihood and development of the small farmer - Spanish or Moroccan, Moroccan or Spanish - is clearly in danger.
Therefore, the beach bar is set up by distributors, retailers who will be able to access cheaper products and large Spanish and Moroccan landowners, including aristocrats and the country's monarch, who apart from crushing Sahrawis also practice citrus farming.
Rosa Aguilar, in these first days at the head of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, opts, as might be expected in the case of a PSOE administration, for a markedly continuous line in favor of industrial agriculture contrary to the interests of farmers and consumers.
Galactic signing of FAO for the "Jacques-team"
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in the mouth of its Director General, Jacques Diouf, announced last week the appointment of the American Ann Tutwiler, as one of the two Directors Deputy Generals of the Organization.
Tutwiler worked until the beginning of the year in the United States Department of Agriculture, where she held the position of Coordinator of World Food Security, in the Offices of the Secretary of Agriculture. She had previously served as Senior Advisor to the Africa Offices of the controversial United States Agency for International Development (USAID). To see some of the nonsense of this agency in terms of food safety, you can read my article published years ago "When dictionaries run out of words". 
As if it were not enough to have held high-level public positions related to agriculture in the country that has most defended the liberalization of the agricultural market (not its own but that of others) and that also bets on conflicting and dangerous technologies such as genetic manipulation; In the FAO press release informing about the appointment of Ann Tutwiler, voluntarily or involuntarily, this lady's past as president of the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) was dispensed with. 
As indicated on its own website, the IPC is clearly committed to the liberalization of agricultural markets. Its functions are consistent with that of a lobby, recognizing that "… it convenes influential politicians, agribusiness executives, farmers and academics from developed and developing countries to clarify issues, build consensus and promote policy for decision-making" 
This body is funded by Monsanto, Unilever, Cargill, Nestle, Syngenta, and others. Its members include executives from some of the aforementioned companies, with people who have had links with the public administration, such as Franz Fischler -ex Commissioner of the European Union for Agriculture- or Carlo Trojan -ex Ambassador of the Commission European in the World Trade Organization.
The newspaper La Verdad reports that "The Geslive economic interest group, a sort of SGAE for industrial and intellectual property rights in the agricultural world, is demanding up to 34,000 euros from farmers in the Vega Baja for patents on their mandarins , planted before or after 2006, when this company officially registered the citrus seedling 'Nadorcott' ". 
This controversial variety comes from Morocco and its main advantage is that it matures later and can penetrate the markets in times when other mandarins are scarce. In 2004, he applied for his patent at the Community Plant Variety Office. Various resources from Spanish agricultural organizations delayed the granting of the patent until 2006, when it was granted to the French company Nadorcott Protection. At that time, numerous Spanish farmers had already planted it.
This fact did not stop Nadorcott Protection and Geslive, who sued two farmers who had planted this variety before it was patented and who apparently, according to the press release consulted, wanted to be sentenced even to jail. 
The police methods used to hunt down farmers are similar to those used by Monsanto to detect farmers who use their seeds without the proper licenses. In Spain, for example, the judicial police and Seprona have participated in the "raids" to detect "illegal" kills of "Nadorcott". Once they are located, justice is used, which has caused fear and anguish among farmers.
Some agrarian organizations such as La Unió de Llauradors, have dismissed this new battery of lawsuits as an "abuse", not only because of the high amount of money that they want to ask the denounced farmers, but because once again owners who planted crops have been indicted. the variety before being patented.
Another problem associated with this practice, according to Cristóbal Aguado -president of the Valencian Farmers Association- told the media, is that Geslive is pressuring businesses to buy from the farmers who sow "Nadorcott" and have contracts with this society . For the Valencian leader, "a variety club is being formed". 
If not remedied, chapters like this are likely to become everyday in the near future. It is extremely dangerous for "biopirates" to take over life, food and a sector such as agriculture that hundreds of millions of people on the planet depend on. It is dangerous for them to pressure traders to work "their" mandarin. It is dangerous because in a desolate sector where expenses are barely covered, this type of monstrosity can only be allowed by a few and the vast majority are excluded. And it is very dangerous because the day that wholesalers or traders want to work with one of these patented varieties, all farmers will have to go through the hoop ... and you consumer, too.
Some varieties of mandarins in the Valencian Country were baptized with names that recall the place where they spontaneously sprouted for the first time. The "Clausellina" was born on a farm belonging to a man named Clausell. The "Hernandina" to one called Hernández and the "Clemenules", the star variety and with an insurmountable flavor, sprouted in the Castellón town of Nules.
The Clausell and Hernández farmers and the farmers of the municipality of Nules are the real ones. Of those who live by and for the earth. The "biopirates", their mercenaries and their complicit legislators, no. That is why some varieties are world heritage sites and the other is from Nadorcott Protection, a company that, incidentally, is linked to the Moroccan royal family.  Yes, the same one that runs over Saharawis before the condescension of the Spanish government and the same one that embraces amicably and publicly with another more "good-natured" member of the "monarchy galaxy" ... a certain Juan Carlos.
In short and graphically, in one corner is civil society represented by diverse and diverse organizations and in the other, speculators, investors, "biopirates", monarchs, aristocrats, genetic manipulators, intermediaries, transnationals, etc. Who is the referee for?
"Antama" is a foundation that benevolently promotes itself as a non-profit organization that aims to promote new technologies applied to agriculture, food and the environment.
In the first instance, good and philanthropic intentions can creep in. But they vanish when you do some research and discover that among its members appears, for example, ASEBIO, the lobby of the biotech industry. The human image is finally shattered when it is revealed that the current president of the Antama Foundation was the director of Syngenta Seeds and a former vice president was the Director of Biotechnology at Monsanto.  Both companies have clear economic interests in promoting transgenic crops and, therefore, the Antama Foundation, far from neutrality, serves as a platform to promote transgenic crops and expand the interests of said industry.
Its database, among many pearls, stores reviews of acts and statements by Antonio Villarroel, a defender of transgenic crops who has participated in workshops and conferences with members of Monsanto and ASEBIO, among others. Villarroel is also the director of Geslive, the company that defends the privatization of living beings and that sues farmers. This allows us to see more clearly, towards which mills this foundation directs the waters or what kind of news and gentlemen it gives voice to.
Well, a few days ago, Antama announced on its website that the Vatican's Pontifical Scientific Academy defended GMOs as a safe and effective way to fight hunger.  This curious statement lost the rank of "headline of the news" and with it a guaranteed public, when the Holy See tried to deny such a comment, claiming that these statements do not represent the institutional position, neither of the Vatican nor of the Academy. [12 ]
Antama has not rectified on its website and whoever writes this has been left without a sensational headline. Even so, I have not given up and by examining in detail the news of the Catholic, apostolic and Roman support for GMOs, I have been able to discover how the author affirms the following: "... there are a billion people who are malnourished ...", or what is the same, the equivalent of 200 times the current population of the earth. Rigorous above all.
Vicent boix - Spain - December 6, 2010. Weekly newspaper Belianís (General and cultural information) - http://www.belianis.es
 http://www.maríritu digital.net/xoops/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=1004
 https://www.ecoportal.net/Temas_Especiales/Salud/Solidaridad ... (With pseudonym, Mariano Cereijo)