Media Release - Dr Vandana Shiva in Sydney on 20th February

Planet on a Plate : Vandana Shiva - Protecting Seeds, Farmers and Food

February 20th 2015, 6pm for 7pm start until 9pm Teachers Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills, Sydney All funds raised on the night go to the GM-Free Alliance Bookings: www.trybooking.com/113052

The 2010 Sydney Peace Prize and Right Livelihood Award recipient Dr. Vandana Shiva is coming to Sydney with a message of hope for the future and to share her continuing fight to save seeds, farmers and food from corporate monopolies. The internationally renowned environmental and agricultural activist will be hosted by the GM-free Australia Alliance & Sydney Food Fairness Alliance and introduced by farmer, author and educator, Joel Salatin
Dr. Vandana Shiva will discuss the need for a transition to ecological farming systems and regenerative agriculture to secure food supplies for the future, which is in stark contrast to the current unsustainable globalised food industries which are based on agrichemicals, seed patents and genetically modified (GM) crops.
"Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate”, said Shiva whose recipe for the United Nation's 2015 International Year of the Soils 2015 for eating and farming within the Earth's capacity to sustain all of the human family. 
“Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.”
A $15 million GM 'super banana' developed by Dr James Dale at QUT in Australia, financially backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently had human feeding trials at Iowa State University experimenting on female students, they were delayed due to due diligence problems. GM 'golden' rice feeding trials carried out at Tufts University in Boston were exposed as a scandal last year. The GMO pro-vitamin A-enriched banana, supposedly being developed to deal with Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda, has been rejected as unwelcome by African civil society in a recent open letter by AFSA (African Food Sovereignty Alliance).
Adam Breasley, event spokesperson said, “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded GMO 'super banana' coming out of the Queensland University of Technology - which Dr Shiva has rightfully spoken out against - is not an invention, it is based on an act of biopiracy against neighbouring Pacific peoples' traditional knowledge and biodiversity."
“We need more people like Dr Vandana Shiva, whose celebrated work in partnership with local communities from all over the world looks at real solutions to hunger and malnutrition.”
Fran Murrell, president of GM-Free Australia said, “The Earth and human communities cannot bear the hidden ecological, economic and social costs of high input industrial farming any longer. The monocultures depend on constant inputs of diminishing oil, phosphate, land and water resources, so we must change.”
“We don’t need more false claims of GMOs based on piracy of indigenous biodiversity and knowledge. The GMO banana project based on biopiracy must stop”, said Shiva. 
All funds raised on the night go to the GM-Free Australia Alliance.
 
Spinifex Press will this month publish essays "Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard", edited by Dr Shiva. 
For more information and interviews contact: Catriona Macmillan 0402 404 361 and Adam Breasley  0411 217 293