We are on the way to becoming a Fairtrade Diocese.
Do you use the Fairtrade tea and coffee?
Why should you?
It is a fact that primary producers are often exploited - our own dairy farmers here at home in England. The exploitation is far more serious in the Third World. Cafod was one of the prime movers in establishing Traidcraft. It is now possible to buy fairtraded products even in supermarkets. They may cost a little more ( though the coffee is stronger and it takes less to make a good cup! ) but we have the satisfaction of knowing that the men and women who labour on the land are getting a fair price for their products - in other words we are not colluding in social injustice and oppression. look for the Fairtrade logo.
Want to know more?
Ring Joy Bosworth - Diocesan Fairtrade coordinator
Tel : 01253 344008
Many people have been stunned by the announcement (August 2003) that the Vatican is preparing a report which will come out in favour of GM crops. This would be contrary to the opinions already expressed by bishops who are close to their people in Third World countries. Fourteen bishops in Brazil have appealed to their government not to sanction GM. They state that "it is clear that large corporations will be the greatest beneficiary, with grave damage to farmers".Fr Sean McDonagh, who worked in the Philippines for twenty years and is an expert on environmental issues has expressed his concern in Far East, the magazine of the Columban Missionaries, November 2003.
People need either to have money to buy food or to have the possibility of growing food for themselves. Agribusinesses are into GM to make a profit. Traditionally farmers retain seeds from one year's crop to sow for the next. Through 'terminator' technology GM seeds become infertile after the first crop which forces farmers to return to the seed company for seeds for each planting. Where would a subsistence farmer find the money? GM requires that land be drenched with herbicide - making it good for nothing except the GM crop - a 'disastrous' experience in Argentina.
"The idea that GM foods are important for ridding the world of hunger is 100% baloney". 'Even today four out of five hungry people live in countries that are exporting food, while Europe and North America are facing a food surplus problem'. What is the danger of mutation in traditional strains through the proximity of GM and harmful side-effects on human health?
What does John Paul II say? In an address to farmers on Nov.12th,2000, he told them "to resist the temptation of high productivity and profit that work to the detriment and respect of nature". He added, "When farmers forget this basic principle and become tyrants of the earth rather than its custodians... sooner or later the earth rebels".... "Furthermore if modern farming techniques don't reconcile themselves with the simple language of nature in a healthy balance, the life of man will run ever greater risks, of which we are already seeing worrying signs.
" What can you do? If you consider that fairer trade, better distribution of food, income and power would be a more effective answer than GM to world starvation, express your view to -
Most Rev. Archbishop Renato Martino, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 00121 Vatican City
Want to know more? Go to www.columban.com