Monday, March 03, 2014

Then You Shouldn't Be Eating It

One of the wisest things I have heard about nutrition recently was from a nutritionist in NYC who worked with kids, who said his best advice to kids was, "If you can't pronounce the ingredients on the label, then you shouldn't be eating it."
A gathering of French, activists, organic gardeners on a cold early February night in a little lieu-dit Le Gounnissoux to protest the actions of the European Union to suppress the commercial production and use of organic natural fertilizers and pesticides due to the influence of the lobbyists employed by the big chemical companies, like Bayer. This gathering was specifically organized to target the threatened ban the commercial production and use of natural Nettle based products as pesticides and fertilizers. I am proud to say that I am in this photo. We are supporting our very good friend Jean-Francois Lyphout who has been producing a line of natural pesticides and fertilizers under the brand name, Fortiech which he produces in his little family owned usine. He has been an eco activist for many years and had one of the best plant nurseries for years outside of Ajat, France. He has been a proponent of natural plant products for years and was the focus of a documentary on the controversy that arose when the agro chemical lobbyists made the commercial use of natural pesticides and fertilizers illegal back in the late 1990's. Due to the actions of Lyphout and others like him, this ban was successfully overturned. I wrote a bit about Nettles in 2010. The mayor of Ajat, who is an old friend and is a major strawberry producer here was featured in the ARTE Documentary with Jean-Francois...the main agricultural products in this part of France which we are duly renowned for all over Europe, are Strawberries and Walnuts.

I realize that most of the people who visit here don't speak French, but I included this little piece by Jean-Francois and his wife showing their little operation and what they are doing.  The present problem is that, though, the chemical corporation lobbies cannot outlaw the use of natural products, they are aggressively trying to reinstate the ban on the commercial production of them to protect their sales. They want to pass a law in the EU that would ban the commercial production of natural agricultural products with a threat of criminal prosecution with 2 years imprisonment and a 75,000 Euro fine. The agricultural hero of France, former presidential candidate, Green Party EU Deputy and  and leader of the rural peasants agricultural party, Jose Bove is fighting the agribusiness lobbyists. In his latest book, Hold Up In Brussels, he points out that there are 2 agro industry lobbyists for every EU Deputy. The money is flowing freely into the pockets of the reps all though Europe from the big corporations like Bayer and Monsanto. Bove has fought a relentless fight here in France and in Europe against McDonalds and Monsanto. He spent a year or so in prison for "dismantling" a McDonalds and the destruction of Monsanto OGM test corn fields here in France. The results? Well we still have McDonalds, but Monsanto products are banned here in France and Poland and a few other EU countries. We are fighting a war against chemicals that are destroying the world's bee population, pesticides that are now blamed for male infertility. The chemical corporations through the EU pay farmers to use their products...they get subsidized to use pesticides and treatments that are blanket treatments that kill everything including the end user, you. 

A very good current case here is the ongoing controversy involving the infestation of the cicadelle pests which devastate grape vines. Cicadelles are little leaf hoppers which feed on the vines and in the process spread a deadly plant virus called golden Flavescence. The EU has declared that to fight this disease, commercial insecticides must compulsory be used. Most are blanket poisons that kill bees and every type of organism that normally beneficially interact with the vines and the natural controls of pests.  Even the most natural commercial pesticide, Pyrevert, which is based on toxins found in chrysanthemums is a potent blanket neurotoxin that kills insects and birds and has been linked to many adverse side effects in humans. So we are supporting an organic French winemaker from the Cote-d'Or region of Burgundy who began to use organic techniques since 1970 with his father, Emmanuelle Giboullot in his fight against the EU against the compulsory use of industrial toxic products. As he says, he is not trying to be radical, but he is facing a 75,000 Euro fine and a six month prison sentence. He won the support of growers and environmentalists all over France and the petitions supporting him has well over 500,000 signatures now. He went to trial in Dijon last week and the judgement was a temporary fine of 500 Euros and the imprisonment was suspended, but the case is continued until April. Given the recent reports in the French news about the decline in male fertility now linked to pesticides and specifically chrysanthemum based compounds, he might have a much stronger case

No comments: