Food security is the single most important issue facing mankind today. Our food is making us sick. The way it's produced is wasting energy, destroying our environment, and depleting vital natural resources including soil, water and biodiversity. More and more people have no access to healthy food. Meanwhile, our government has been supporting a destructive global food system that has little respect for life.
"Business as usual is not an option", claimed the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). This 4-year assessment endeavor was commissioned by the World Bank and six United Nations agencies, and it involved some 400 scientists around the world. IAASTD warned that industrial agriculture was threatening our survival, and recommended that nations embrace agroecology. In 2008, the IAASTD Reports, "Agriculture At A Crossroads", were endorsed by 59 countries who have yet to act on their promise to support sustainable farming practices.
Rio+20 Outcome Document,The Future We Want, hasn't brought us any closer to any implementation of public policies to promote and support sustainable agriculture, unfortunately. Its chapter on "Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture" lists whatneedsto happen but fails to define "sustainable agriculture", and doesn't include any sort of commitment.
The work starts at home. It is the responsibility of the United States of America, as the self-proclaimed greatest nation on earth, to lead by example. Yet, our government won’t budge unless we, American citizens, speak up.
Let’s do everything in our power so that Washington commit to implementing the public policies that we need, as suggested by IAASTD, in order to ensure that our planet will nourish us abundantly for generations to come.
As citizens of the world with deep concern about hunger and food security, and about the impacts of the industrial food system on health, natural resources, poverty and geopolitical stability, we the undersigned request that the American government take the lead among the United Nations Member States, and commit to act on the following requests:
1/ phasing out the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animal farms by 2017.
2/ prohibiting animal by-products in feed for food-production animals by June 2015.
3/ eliminating 100 percent of perverse agricultural subsidies to industrial agriculture by 2022.
4/ supporting and protecting small and family farmers, and respecting the freedom of local communities to produce, process, distribute, sell and consume the foods of their choice as they see fit, while protecting them from corporations and other organizations, or initiatives and projects, that exploit their resources (land, water, biodiversity and other natural resources, labor), and threaten their livelihoods.
5/ enabling the conversion of 50 percent of total U.S. farmland to agroecology by 2022, and 100 percent by 2050, so that agriculture can feed the world while preserving nature.
We further request that the United States make a strong official commitment to support agreocology as a viable pathway to a just food system, and spearhead the endorsement of these policy goals by the United Nations Member States. ---------------- We thank you for your consideration.
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