An Open Letter to His Holiness Pope Francis, on the Occasion of His Visit to Michoacán, Mexico, Winter Sanctuary of the Monarch Butterfly

Endorsed by Bipartisan Faith-Based, Indigenous, Environmental, Natural Health, Justice, Consumer and Farming Groups.

We welcome you and your message of “climate as the common good” to our country. We urge world leaders and ordinary citizens to honor your call to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” And to heed your advice to “adopt clear and firm measures in support of small producers” in order to address the ethical, economic, and environmental crises confronting humanity.

In Mexico, the center of origin of maize, nearly 60 varieties of this staple grain and hundreds of its subfamilies are at risk of extinction due to profit-driven corporations seeking to cultivate genetically modified (GMO) corn across Mexico. In 2013, the people responded by filing a civil lawsuit headed by 53 individuals from the scientific, farming, indigenous, consumer, artistic and environmental communities, as well as 20 nonprofit organizations. Read more…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also called for a special safeguard mechanism in agriculture for developing countries. Photo: Bloomberg

Food security: US, EU rule out permanent solution for public stock holding programmes

During a meeting with African leaders last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched for a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security

Geneva: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an outcome on public stockholding programmes for food security at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ministerial meeting next month in Nairobi has almost been spiked after the US, the European Union, Canada and Australia ruled out any change from the existing interim arrangement.

That temporary solution was hammered out between the US and India last year. The two sides also agreed they would negotiate a permanent solution along with other members of WTO by the 10th ministerial meeting, which is now beginning on 15 December in Nairobi.

During a meeting with African leaders last month, Modi said, “We should achieve a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security and the special safeguard mechanism in agriculture for developing countries.”