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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Opposing Monsanto: thinking locally, acting globally

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Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare Group will join the international community for ‘World Focus on educating people on Monsanto and its poisonous legacy, from GMOs and cross-contamination to its herbicide and pesticide contamination’.

According to organisers, ‘The international community will perform this event on the week beginning September 17. However, in the biggest little town of Australia we will open our event on Friday, August 31, with Mullum Flicks featuring on our behalf the film The World According to Monsanto (USA), at the Drill Hall Theatre. Doors will open at 6.30pm for an organic dinner and a film at 7.30pm.

‘Events will continue through the month of September, with the screening of The Poison on the Table (Brazil) at the Drill Hall Theatre and two other films at the Shearwater school library: The Queen of the Sun (USA) and One man, One cow, One planet (New Zealand).

‘We are also calling on the community to join us in a walk through Mullumbimby, on September 15, meeting at 10am at Santos Health Food shop and heading to the Mullumbimby Community Garden for talks. While walking we will carry signs of independent scientific evidence of the dangers of Monsanto GMO crops and pesticide on soil and water contamination, birth defects, cancer, infertility, etc.

‘Glyphosate, a herbicide widely used on the land all around us, is considered safe in Australia in the eyes of gardeners, farmers, councils and bush regenerators. However, independent scientists, filmmakers and journalists from many different countries have a different opinion and are speaking up.

‘Our group, BSCFL, is particularly concerned that ignorance of the effects of glyphosate products is having a devastating impact on the health of our children and on environmental health.

‘It is important to state that the BSCFL actions, in promoting awareness regarding cosmetic pesticides, are not a personal attack on any individual using it. Our concerns are based on scientific research saying that it is not safe for humans.

‘Other government agencies in Australia and overseas are already on the move to a more sustainable, no-chemical approach towards maintenance of public lands. So we invite our community to take the opportunity of the Occupy Monsanto event and explore with the BSCFL this topic, on this month of September, looking for alternatives.’

This event is supported by Mullumbimby Community Garden, Tweed Richmond Organic Growers Association (TROPO), and Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School.

The Poison on the Table opens with the famous journalist, Eduardo Galeano, writer of the Open Veins of Latino America. The film was made as a promotion for the campaign launched in Brazil in March, ‘Permanent Campaign against the Use of Agrotoxics and For Life’. That screens on Wednesday September 12 at the Drill Hall Theatre at 7pm, Brazilian cuisine dinner $8. At 7.30pm there is a presentation by Dave Forrest, from the Tweed Richmond Organic Growers Association (TROPO), on studies by Dr Don M Huber, co-ordinator of the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens committee of the American Phytopathological Society.

As part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System, he warned agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack that a self-replicating, micro-fungal virus-sized organism may be causing spontaneous abortions in livestock, sudden death syndrome in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy, and wilt in Monsanto’s RR corn.

On Thursday September 13 at 7pm The Queen of the Sun screens in the Shearwater library. This 2010 documentary, directed by Taggart Siegel, investigates multiple angles of the recent bee epidemic colony collapse disorder; 6.30pm dinner for $7, 7pm film, $5 at the door.

On Saturday September 15 you can participate in ‘Spray Love’. Meet at 10am at Santos health food shop, walk around Mullumbimby town to the Mullumbimby Community Garden. Free talks 11am at Mullumbimby Community Garden. Speakers are Jo Immig from National Toxic Networking, Bec Talbot on ‘How to avoid GM food when shopping’ and Ellen White, ‘Transition for a chemical-free shire on public land’.

Thursday September 20 One man, One cow, One planet screens at Shearwater library. Indian cuisine dinner at 6.30pm for $7, film at 7pm for $5. This is an inspiring film about Peter Proctor taking biodynamic agriculture to India as a tool to restore degraded soil.

For further details on these events contact [email protected].

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