Roundup Protest Day Makes its Mark!
A day of action, purposeful but good natured, around the country marked the Make Roundup History! Day of protest. In North Devon, we held our own protest (subtitled Four Supermarkets and a Garden Centre!).
“4 SUPERMARKETS AND A GARDEN CENTRE”
Day of Action September 6th 2017
Dear Tracy, Gerald, Costas, Jim and anybody else who was involved in shining the light on the hideous toxicity of the ubiquitous herbicide Roundup.
We had a FANTASTIC day – far better than anything we could have dreamed up. As we’ve all experienced it takes a helluva lot of effort and energy to pull off even the smallest of demonstrations – such is the busy life we all ‘think’ we lead. We took in three car loads but I want to give special thanks to Jane O’Meara who came all the way down from Dorset to Barnstaple
Unfortunately for us (and Homebase) was when we were doing a recce of all the Supermarkets in Bideford and Barnstaple the only outlets which stocked a lot of Roundup was Homebase. When I explained the purpose of our visit the response of the Homebase staff couldn’t have been more understanding (we needed to have 2 trolleys FULL of Roundup for our overall photo shots). I explained to them that the solely ‘business’ minded ASDA, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s etc. have cleared the shelves of Roundup and replaced the space with a more sellable product. They will then, of course fill, the shelves with carcinogenic Roundup for the farmers in the spring to kill all the winter weeds to give the wheat etc. the best chance to get a head start.
The ‘fourth’ Supermarket we ‘visited’(after Homebase, Tesco, St Johns Garden Centre and another Tesco), was the ASDA near the train station- hence the name of our demo . . ‘4 Supermarkets and a Garden Centre’ – (the latter being very half hearted on my part as the Manager turned out to be an old friend of mine from our football days). When we rocked up at the ASDA (me in my vicars outfit courtesy of the Glyndebourne costume department who’ve always been kind enough to turn me into the vegetable of my choice) I looked around and saw the Manager’s jaw hit the floor when he turned to his co-Manager and said . . “Oh no, not this lot . . .”
At each visit we rolled out the banners under the supermarket’s logo which were filmed and photo’d and can be found on our website page
The banners read . . ‘Syngenta, Monsanto – we don’t want your GMO’s’
‘GMO’s UK YOU GROW IT WE’LL BURN IT’
(which we most certainly will and to hell with the consequences – Monsanto products KILL and make vast profits for the nastiest kind of human on earth). We also sang a couple of songs (see Appendix at the end) and handed the following letter to the Manager:
We are writing this letter, in order to draw your attention to the fact that some products that are sold in the stores of your chain of supermarkets have been proven to pose serious risks in human health (along with negative environmental consequences). We are participants in an Agri-activism campaign on ‘Food and Agriculture’. The campaign aims to raise awareness and responsibility over the impacts of Glyphosate. Part of this campaign is to sensitise companies and the general public over the dangerous impacts of Glyphosate in agriculture and human health.
We recently visited the premises of your supermarket store and found out that some of the following products containing the active ingredient Glyphosate are sold at your stores, such as:
|Patio & Drive Weedkiller||Bayer|
|Path And Patio Weed Killer||Pestshield|
|Path and Patio||Doff|
|Glyphosate weedkiller by||Doff|
|Roundup Total Weedkiller||Monsanto|
|Roundup Concentrate Weedkiller||Monsanto|
|Roundup Tree Stump||Monsanto|
|Resolva Xtra Tough||Westland|
|Resolva Weedkiller 24H||Westland|
|Root Blast- Total Weedkiller (very strong)||Barclay Chemicals R&D Limited|
|Systemic Path & Patio Weedkiller,||TESCO|
We have come to know that (some of) these products are sold at many stores of your supermarkets chain in many places all over the United Kingdom.
The World Health Organization has declared that Glyphosate -the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides- is likely to cause cancer in people even in small doses. Several other studies have also identified negative impacts of Glyphosate on human and animal health. Indicatively, Glyphosate residues have been found in water, human urine, blood and breast milk.
This chemical has been linked to birth defects and diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Anencephaly, Autism, Brain Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Obesity, Colitis, Depression, Heart Disease, Liver Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Parkinson’s. There is adequate documentation providing sufficient evidence for these effects and risks on human health and environmental degradation, which we can provide you with upon request.
On 27th January 2017 Californian judge Kristi Kaetan ruled to label Glyphosate-containing products in the state of Californiaas dangerous for human health, stating that “the chemical Glyphosate may cause cancer”. Consequently, products that contain this compound are now labelled in the state of California, USA. Unfortunately, the same has not yet happened in the United Kingdom.
In light of the above, we kindly ask you to discuss with us the possibility of withdrawing these products from the shelves of your store(s). Alternatively, we suggest that you display informative leaflets or posters indicating the health risks of this toxic substance next to the product. We can supply you with leaflets ourselves, an example of which is attached to this letter.
As a company that claims to be concerned for its customers’ health and to carry social responsibility, we expect you to act on our suggestions and demonstrate that your claims are meaningful, even though no ruling obliges you yet in this case.
We understand that removing some products from the shelves is not an easy decision for your company. However, we hope that you approach this sensibly and act with due responsibility to customers. We are in touch with The Guardian and (other) local and environmental media that are willing to report positively should you take action against Glyphosate. We await your response eagerly and would be happy to have further communication about this serious matter; please contact us through the contact details listed below.
Finally, we wish to make clear that if you choose not to take any action, you are consciously putting your customers at risk, and thus we will have to take this campaign further.
We are looking forward to your response and immediate action.
The most important thing is this is only a start. I feel a good starting point in the spring will be Council offices across the country who advocate the spraying of Roundup all over the roads (the whole A303 was brown this year), and parks AND children’s playgrounds. . . Dogs are, of course, particularly vulnerable as the Roundup in parks etc. will translocate straight into their bodies through their paws. In the same vein how many of you have noticed there’s barely any insects – ladybirds, moths, even flies in your back garden?
Being the head ‘Vicar’ I took on the role of choir master and conducted our ad hoc yet pleasantly tuneful choir boys and girls beneath the Tesco and ASDA logo respectively. The hymns went as follows:-
NFU & DEFRA . . .IT’S TIME TO
SAY NO TO CORPORATE FARMING
A couple of ‘modified’ nursery rhymes
THREE ‘BLIND’ (GENETICALLY MODIFIED) MICE
Gmo’s . . . Gmo’s
See how they spread
See how they grow
They all ran after the farmer’s wife
They damaged her kidney’s and took her life
Have you ever known there to be such strife
From Gmo’s . . .Gmo’s
OUR NEXT NURSERY RHYME IS CALLED
BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP
It’s about Dolly’s second cousin – Molly. Molly has been cloned to produce 3 times more wool than normal sheep. Even though cloned Mollies suffer acute respiratory problems, have chronic pains in her joints and lives half the lifespan of a normal sheep the economics outweigh all this and Molly’s given the commercial green light.
Baa Baa Black sheep Have you any wool,
Have so friggin much I feel like a fool,
don’t know what they’ve done
Not sure if I’m a Dad or if I’m a Mum
Baa Baa Black sheep have you any wool?
Please end my life, then I’ll be cool
IT’S OUR SACRED RIGHT TO CHOOSE THE FOOD WE EAT.
GM DEPRIVES US OF THIS.
A special thank you to Devon Life for publicising our event which were read on social media by 37,000 people in the first 24 hours – not all complimentary about me I’ve heard but hey ho! nothing ventured . . .
MAKE ROUNDUP HISTORY
Well . . . I don’t think I’ll be making it onto Monsanto and Bayer’s Christmas card list. Thanks so much to Devon Life who’ve put it on social media,- I heard in the first 24 hours there was 27,000 viewings which has now gone up to 48,000 by 10am this morning.
Gerald Miles and I hatched this plan just 3 months ago. The expectation bar was set very low – determination bar totally the opposite. Special thanks go to Sara and Daphne without whom nothing would have happened and Tim for getting out videos of us in our Permaculture garden showing people how we should be gardening/farming – working with nature (the insects, bees, earthworms etc.) rather than fighting against it with Roundup and all manner of sprays. We started by naming the date . . . 6th September 2017 was selected because it was a full moon and the energy levels are at their peak as the universe breaths a sigh of relief after the fraughtness of the previous 2 weeks when the new moon makes its appearance bringing us our own particular challenges which we all need individually on our Karmic paths.
‘Make Roundup History’ and ‘Roundup the Roundup’ were written on our literature. We made 2 different fliers – one simply giving the bullet points of the demo, the other more details with graphs showing how ALL diseases (cancer, autism, dementia etc.) spiked dramatically in the US in 1996 (according to the US department of Agriculture and NASS – the National Agriculture Statistics Service) when GM crops and Roundup were carpet bombed (literally) across the whole US of A and Canada.
We had fliers printed by the 1000’s and literally carpet bombed practically every festival of the summer. Rupert kindly did a mid-Wales one where Prince Charles was working and others did OFF Grid, Boomtown and other smaller ones.
Sara and my first port of call was the Green Gathering. I’ve been honoured to give talks there with Jim McNulty and Gerald these past 6 or so years where I get to speak about well . . .about GMO’s. It’s the last real activist orientated festival on the circuit with people speaking about all sorts of issues all day.
Our second port of call was Glyndebourne (the Opera House in Sussex where I grew up – though some might disagree with that last bit). The take up was phenomenal and I had to get an extra 2 batches of 100 copies at the time, to meet the demand. We also went to a Permaculture music festival just outside Exeter where we met the charismatic Maddy Hayland who has 2 million followers on Twitter (another one to ‘ tap into . .’ ).
The lead-up/planning of this demonstration was the most intense of any I’ve been involved in. Everything/situation I’ve found myself in these past 2 months has been geared to September 6th. This date was chosen by myself and the wonderful Gerald Miles and we’ve been rewarded beyond our wildest dreams when Jenny Haynes – our permaculture expert in residence told me we had 36,000 plus people who’ve viewed our actions in Barnstaple within the first 16 hours. I’ve also had e-mails from people I don’t know saying they did a demonstration in such and such town with the recurring message.
I got Mark Thomas to announce our plan for a Nationwide demonstration against the toxic herbicide Roundup at the Plough Art Centre, Torrington about 3 months ago. The next evening we went to see the WONDERFUL Show of Hands at Rosemoor garden centre where the base guitarist asked ‘everyone to take a GMO flier from us’ when again every flier went. Then the night after that there was a political debate at the Plough leading up to the election where we got rid of 2 . . . .