Food and Agriculture: FAO, CGIAR, CFS

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO): FAO is a United Nations specialized agency which mandate is ti raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. ETC Group relates primarily to the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and the negotiations for a multilateral system of conservation and exchange of genetic resources for food and agriculture, known as the International Treaty on Plant and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Aside from responsibility for the International Treaty, the FAO Commission oversees the FAO-CGIAR Trust Agreement and provides policy oversight for the germplasm collections included in that agreement.

FAO Website: http://www.fao.org/index_en.htm

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is an informal network of 16 international agricultural research centres which manages aprroximately 600,000 agricultural seed samples. It is the most influential agricultural research body in the South, and thus affects food and agricultural development policies for resource-poor farmers worldwide. In 1994, most of the crop germplasm held in CGIAR gene banks was placed under the auspices of the FAO, to be held in trust by the world community. ETC is engaged in ongoing work related to the science, governance and patent policies of the CGIAR.

CGIAR Website: http://www.cgiar.org/

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS): Intense negotiations and strong pressure from ETC Group and many long-standing allies led, in October 2009, to the reorganization of the UN Committee on Food Security (CFS) to become the Rome-based acknowledged intergovernmental policy and program forum for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Program (WFP) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). In the new CFS structure, civil society organizations  now have a unique, formally-recognized role that allows us to participate with the same status as governments in all meetings and negotiations although we are not allowed to vote. 

CFS Website: http://www.fao.org/cfs/en/

Blog entry

Silvia Ribeiro

News/Press Release

His Holiness
Pope Francis

Apostolic Palace

00120 Vatican City

April 30, 2014

Your Holiness:

With the utmost respect, we address Your Holiness regarding a topic of grave concern and global scope—genetically modified (GM) crops and their impact on peoples and on nature, land, water, seeds, and economies, especially those of the Global South.

Briefing

Introduction

Almost twenty years of genetically modified crops… What have we gained?

Contrary to what companies promised, official statistics from the United States—the leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops in the world—demonstrate that the truth of GM crops is that they produce less per hectare than the seeds that were already available on the market, but have resulted in an exponential increase in the use of agritoxins.

Article

This short report compares the industrial food system with peasant farming. Industrial farming gets all the attention (and most of the land). It accounts for more than 80% of the fossil fuel emissions and uses over 70% of the water supply used in agriculture, but it actually produces only about 30% of the world's food.

In this succinct, illustrated booklet, you'll find the answers to these questions...