Last week, I chipped in a contribution (below) to a New York Times discussion on biotech. The debate garnered about a quarter as many reader responses as a previous one about the future of laundry in the 21st century. I’m not sure how to interpret that other than, simply, more people have opinions about laundry than about food. But don’t let that put you off visiting the site. There are some very fine (and sometimes very obtuse) comments beneath our interventions. More here.
A bit of follow-up on the post I made on shackdwellers attacked by a mob in South Africa. Many are still in hiding, and the vibrant movement that was built by South Africa’s poorest people has been damaged. But they’re still organising, democratically, for change. If you’d like to support them, the South Africa Development Fund is collecting checks. Please mark them ‘for Abahlali’, and send em to
The ever-excellent InterPress Service reports on a new UN report on whether it’s a good idea to privatise seeds. The answer: not if you want poor farmers to benefit. The report, written by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Food, is available here. Full disclosure: I advise the Rapporteur, but didn’t advise on this report. More below the fold.
Any Neruda fan will tell you that poetry can be political. But how about the other way around?
Pambazuka News has a fine article on how land-grabs in Africa are being driven by the biofuels bonanza in which the man who I idolised in the early 1980s, Bob Geldof, falls even further from his pedestal. More below the fold.
Here’s a fine op-ed written be friends at The National Family Farm Coalition and the Pesticide Action Network on how the Obama administration is ensuring that the food system remains firmly in the hands of those who screw it up for everyone else. It’s a status quo we can all believe in.