PANNA: Organic & Beyond: A Campaign for a New Vision of Farming


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Organic & Beyond: A Campaign for a New Vision of Farming
June 4, 2002

A campaign in support of a new vision of farming was launched on
May 30, 2002, with publication of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology, the large format photo book provides compelling evidence of the extensive and unnecessary costs, both human and ecological, of the U.S. system of industrial agriculture and envisions food production in greater harmony with human communities and with the natural world.

The organizations behind the Organic & Beyond campaign bring an impressive track record of research and advocacy on sustainable agriculture, pesticide reform and food safety. (A list of campaign partners follows.) Led by the Center for Food Safety in Washington, DC, the national and international campaign will focus on supporting strong organic standards and promoting local and small-scale agriculture that is biologically diverse, humane and socially just.

At the heart of the campaign is a vision of a new agrarian consciousness, one that enables urbanites to reestablish a relationship to nature, farmers and the land. Fatal Harvest's editor, Andrew Kimbrell challenges environmentalists to forge this connection in their daily life, "We cannot do this if we remain food "consumers," destroying and wasting our lands and farm communities. We must learn to be "creators" and truly see and understand that each action we take does make a difference."

Fatal Harvest, with its stunning photos and penetrating essays, is a valuable tool to educate consumers and decision-makers on the deep costs of the U.S. system of factory farming. With essays by a diverse group of poets, ecologists, activists and chefs that include Wendell Berry, Hope Shand, Vendana Shiva and Alice Waters, the book begins with a deeply poetic and provocative section on breaking the industrial paradigm, and proceeds to up-end the seven corporate myths of industrial agriculture. The total effect is a powerful vision of the bio-diversity and the cultural, social and economic benefits of re-visioning agriculture.

Monica Moore, Co-director of Pesticide Action Network North America contributes an article on the destruction caused by pesticides. Her essay celebrates the accomplishments of the world wide movement to reduce pesticides, and lays out an agenda to ban the worst offending chemicals, improve reporting on pesticide use, challenge genetically engineered (GE) food, and hold corporations accountable for the environmental impacts of pesticide and GE use and production.

Fatal Harvest's persuasive force and the campaign it supports, Organic and Beyond, are valuable new resources for the community of activists working for sustainable and just agriculture.

"A healthy farm culture can be based only upon familiarity and can grow only among a people soundly established upon the land; it nourishes and safeguards human intelligence of the earth that no amount of technology can satisfactorily replace. The growth of such a culture was once a strong possibility in the farm communities of this country. We now have only the sad remnants of those communities. If we allow another generation to pass without doing what is necessary to enhance and embolden the possibility now perishing with them, we will lose it altogether. And then we will not only invoke calamity--we will deserve it." -Wendell Berry

Organic & Beyond Campaign Partners:
Californians for Pesticide Reform
Center for Food Safety
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Community Food Security Coalition
Food & Water
Food First
International Forum on Food and Agriculture
Land Institute
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Organic Consumers Association
Rural Advancement Foundation International USA
Sustain

For information on the Organic & Beyond Campaign contact:
Center for Food Safety
600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE # 302
Washington, DC 20003
USA
Phone (800) 600-6664 or (202) 547-9359
Fax (202) 547-9429
Web site http://www.fatalharvest.org

*Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, 2002* Andrew Kimbrell, ed. 384 pages. US$45 paperback, US$75 hard cover, discounts on bulk orders. Contact Island Press, 58440 Main Street, P.O. Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428; phone (800) 828-1302; fax (707) 983-6414; email service@islandpress.org; Web site http://www.islandpress.org/.

PANUPS is a weekly email news service providing resource guides and reporting on pesticide issues that don't always get coverage by the mainstream media. It's produced by Pesticide Action Network North America, a non-profit and non-governmental organization working to advance sustainable alternatives to pesticides worldwide.

You can join our efforts! We gladly accept donations for our work and all contributions are tax deductible in the United States. Visit http://www.panna.org/donate.

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