This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
MORE than 30,000 socialists and environmentalists marched through Berlin at the weekend in protest at industrialised agriculture and an EU subsidy system they say favours agribusiness over sustainable farming.
More than 40 climate and environmental organisations joined farmers’ groups and consumer and animal rights activists to rail against a Common Agricultural Policy “in service of corporations” under the slogan: “We are sick of it.”
The EU’s agricultural subsidies amounted to almost €59 billion (£52bn) last year, but demonstrators say the payments are misdirected and should be deployed to “avert further farmyard closures and rural village die-off” rather than boost corporate profits. Because farmers receive subsidies per hectare, the biggest landowners get the biggest handouts.
German socialist daily Junge Welt said the protest aimed to challenge a “romanticised image of traditional farming.”
It quoted a report jointly produced by Oxfam, the environmentalist Boll Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation that noted: “Many do not know that large parts of the food sector are divided between a few groups.”
It warned: “Profit is the reason for intensified competition, price wars, the use of pesticides such as glyphosate, the destruction of nature and ‘cheap meat’.”
Environmental campaigners condemned an EU decision at the end of 2017 to relicense glyphosate for use for another five years despite mounting evidence that it causes cancer.
Last year Monsanto was ordered to pay nearly $300 million (£233m) to a man after a US court concluded that he had developed cancer as a result of using the chemical giant’s glyphosate-containing Roundup weedkiller, while the herbicide has also been linked to a rise in gluten intolerance.
But on Wednesday Green MEPs blocked an amendment calling for it to be banned after agreeing a deal with the right-wing European People’s Party parliamentary bloc to support a list of recommendations on pesticide use that will be submitted to the European Commission for consideration.
Though German Green co-leader Robert Harbeck said the key was changing consumption — “we have to get away from the habit of cramming calories as quickly as possible” — Junge Welt warned that “‘green’ consumption and lifestyle veganism have changed little, and sometimes the meat companies simply use it to expand their product range.” It said the real fight was with agribusiness and for a redesign of the Common Agricultural Policy.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.