Dangers of modern agriculture to be debated.

Contact: Susie Lees
Food Matters Aotearoa Conference
Press release 16 October 2014

This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger.  The day is also calling for changes to our agriculture and food supply systems.
Dangers of modern agriculture to be debated.

“Modern farming methods directly challenge New Zealand’s future economy and the environment our children will inherit,” says Susie Lees, spokesperson for Food Matters Aotearoa Conference. “The inspiring speakers will address and pose solutions to the complex problems that face agriculture today in making food safe, nutritious and accessible to all. This is why we have chosen world food day as our launch date”.
Top overseas scientists will speak in major cities throughout New Zealand from 9-20th February 2015 including the Food Matters Aotearoa Conference at Te Papa, Wellington on 14-15 February.  (A full conference programme & itinerary for the tour can be found at www.foodconference.co.nz ).
Speakers will address modern farming methods: the use of pesticides, genetically engineered (GE) plants and the effects of these methods on the nutritional value and safety of the food produced.  Workshops will provide opportunities to discuss the issues and identify solutions.
U.N. official Hilal Elver recently said that new scientific research increasingly shows how “agroecology” offers far more environmentally sustainable methods that can still meet the rapidly growing demand for food. Despite 70% of world food being produced by small traditional farmers, 80% of subsidies and 90% of research funding go to support conventional industrial agriculture in the EU alone.

Keynote speakers:-
Dr. Vandana Shiva, charismatic and highly respected educator, encourages governments, farmers and children to retain traditional, sustainable, organic farming as the best farming solution to a growing population, food scarcity and biological diversity.  She is renowned for her work for social justice, and advises small farmers how to grow and market safe food and preserve seeds to withstand storms and droughts.  “Seed is the first link; the start of the food chain.  Control over seed is control over the entire food chain,” she explains.

Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, has courageously gained worldwide attention after publishing his laboratory research on animals fed GE foods and associated pesticides. “The experiments show that the risks of Bt toxins and of Roundup have been under-estimated,” he says.  Audiences will hear about his controversial research and his warning to regulators on the inherent dangers of dismissing the evidence.

Professor Gu. Xiulin researches and lectures on agricultural economics and globalization, whilst promoting the diverse traditional farming systems in China.

Professor Don Huber, internationally respected microbiologist, has 50 years of knowledge of plant diseases. He exposes the effects of pesticide applications on soil micro-organisms, impacting nutrient uptake and pesticide residues in our foods.

The Wellington Conference will also include other inspiring speakers from New Zealand and overseas.
Further information on these speakers is available from www.foodconference.co.nz


Eco-farming addresses hunger, poverty and climate change,
Pacific Ecology: UN report on the Right to Food.

UN - http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/home/en/

Hilal Elver - http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/un-only-small-farmers-and-agroecology-can-feed-the-world

Contact:- spokesperson:-Susie Lees – 021 0543 492

Email:-    spokesperson@foodconference.co.nz or

Publicist Sian Clement at sianeclement@gmail.com and 022 476 9418

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