German farmers stage massive protest
Sun, 23 Jan 2011 07:28:21 GMT
German demonstrators gathered in Berlin to protest the genetic engineering, factory farming and export dumping calling for a sustainable type of farming.
Several thousand people in Berlin demonstrated on Saturday for changes in the agriculture industry. They called for non-toxic and environmentally friendly arable and animal farming, less industrial agriculture and more consumer protection.
“The current dioxin scandal has suddenly highlighted the backlog of reforms in agricultural policy,” Hubert Weiger, chairman of BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany), said in his speech at the rally.
In the largest demonstration of its kind, organizers said 22,000 people came from all over Germany by buses, trains and tractors. Police estimated the turnout to be 15,000 participants. The demonstration was timed to coincide with International Green Week, an annual agricultural exhibition in Berlin.
The protest ran under the motto "We are fed up with GM (genetically modified) food, factory farming and export dumping," a Press TVcorrespondent reported.
Dumping is the practice of exporting goods at a price which is either below the price it charges in its home market or is below its production costs.
A speech by Nnimmo Bassey, winner of the alternative Nobel Prize and chairman of Friends of the Earth International, was met with loud applause. He said that a worldwide protest against genetic technology, factory farms and dumping exports was imperative for worldwide food security.