Demo in Berlin: focus on farm closures and Monsanto deal
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“Agricultural corporations: keep your hands off our food!” – with this motto tens of thousands will again go onto the streets in Berlin on 21 January. The occasion is the “We've had enough!” demonstration demanding a fundamental change to agricultural and nutrition policy. This year's demo is the seventh – as usual, as the International Green Week gets under way.
The organisers, an alliance of more than 45 organisations, explain that farm closures are the dominant theme. This issue is continuing to reach dramatic proportions: in the last ten years more than 40,000 dairy farms and 64,000 pig farms have been forced to close. The alliance fears that there is no prospect of this trend being reversed. The alliance includes BUND, die Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, Brot für die Welt, Campact, Misereor and the Deutsche Tierschutzbund.
Another focus of their protest is the planned merger of Bayer and Monsanto. The two corporations already hold many patents on living organisms, seeds and plants. If the merger goes ahead the future mega corporation would in one fell swoop become the global market leader in the pesticide and seed sectors. The demonstrators fear that its monopoly position would give the corporation even more power over the fundamentals of food production all over the world. They are especially critical of the fact that Bayer-Monsanto , with seed that is resistant only to its own herbicides like glyphosate, wants to leave farmers with no alternative.
“The federal government must no longer just watch as fewer and fewer firms acquire more and more power over our plates and fields,” says Jochen Fritz, an organiser of the demo and part-time farmer. He makes it clear that they expect the next government to consistently implement a turnaround in agricultural policy.
The call to take part in the demo and nine demands that the alliance will put to the incoming government can be accessed here.
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