FREEDOM OF INFORMATION IN THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED AGE: WATER, FOOD, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
CUNY – Graduate Center - Monday, October 20, 2014
HAVE WE BEEN MODIFIED?
Bircan ÜNVER, Founder-President,
TV and Web Producer of The Light Millennium and Head
NGO Representative at the United Nations Department of Public Information
Dear His Excellences,
Students and Guest,
Welcome to the “Freedom of Information in the Genetically Modified Age: Water, Food, Health and Environment” panel.
I would like to thank to Professor Abdullah Tansel providing us this venue, in particular, at the CUNY-GC, and hosting and moderating the panel.
And, I would like to thank His Excellency Ambassador Kohona, His Excellency Ambassador Garcia, senior scientist Dr. Hansen and an expert and pioneer in the Eco Agriculture field, Mr. Kempf and to my colleague Julie Mardin, who initially introduced the Genetically Modified Organism concept to the organization as well as undertaken-leading the “content coordinator” position for the current and next dedication issue. Thank you for all your support in this effort and very valuable time, shared knowledge and experiences.
Now, I will try to set out the ground for why we think that “Freedom of Information”, “Full and transparent access to information for public good”, “Free flow information” and “Freedom of Information” as the four pillars of the Article#19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed off by the member states of the United Nations in 1948.
With that each and every country, as a principle should be agreeing to serve in his and her country towards achieving the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as becoming a member of the UN, which contains 30 articles, each and every article is crucial to human development, sustainability and protecting and preserving cultural, historical and ethnic values…
We are quickly approaching the 66th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to December 10, which is also the Day of Universal Human Rights Observance. Although, the four pillars of the Article#19 of the Universal Declaration and despite to approaching 66th anniversary and despite the fact that each and every member states of the United Nations in principle should agree to support the vision and goals of the Universal Declaration in its entirety, unfortunately, I consider that #Article 19 is the least celebrated – owned – practiced and implemented one by the 193 member states of the United Nations… At the same time, four pillars of the Article 19 are the most important and key fundamental human rights such as water, air, bread, air etc...
After 66 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and after 15th years of the Millennium Development Goals first stage, we are now entering into the Beyond 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which does not indicate Sustainable HUMAN Development in its title, nor does it contain a sole dedicated goal for the Article#19 so that it will be of equal importance to such goals as “freedom of religion”! Although, these things alone may require a dedicated panel discussion. Unfortunately, since the year 2000; the global world politics and trend have been working backwards, which are putting basic fundamental human rights more at risk and disregarded in the name of “politics” and in many or certain cases “development”, which also has the potential to be used against the will of the people and communities and indigenous peoples rights, all under the name of “development.”
With that in mind, going back to the Article 19, which reads:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
The question is, in its 66 years and despite of the UN’s ever growing impact and with 193 member states, have these things come about?
Now, we’ve learned by Dr. Hansen and John Kempf during our panel as part of the 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference at the UN that even in the year 2007 alone was1 billion ton pesticides used in the US, and 5.2 billion in world-wide that literally means to put into the soil-ground as hazardous poison to kill insects that also multiples with herbicides on plants… (http://www.sustainable.org/263/pesticides EPA 2007 #s 1 billion tons pesticides in US a ear, 5.2 billion world pesticides.)
Imagine, over 1 billion tons pesticides in 2007 alone poured into the soil over vegetable and fruit productions…
Imagine it that how many billion tons have been multiple since than that no one really brings the general public and world’s leaders attention within and without the UN on the utmost level! It is hard to grasp the over 20 years ongoing practices on us as we are an open and the largest “human lab” in human history as Stephanie Sacks put it in the UN panel! Yet, we are all in the same boat and we are in the same treat unless there is another planet already discovered-livable that maybe not as humanity at large but those privileged who might have been conducting and implementing such project over us, then only those privileged may be able to migrate there!
However, beyond going on this further, I would like to get your attention that billion tons pesticides also goes into water, air, and atmosphere… that directly and greatly contributes to weakening our body and mind…
I cannot help questioning on this the followings:
Did you hear any major news or research what it has been causing to us, our body, mind, water, food, health and environment?
Did you hear anything about on this magnitude that has been discussed and reflect into the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda?
Based on the pieces which we’ve published on our website as part of the dedication issue as well as once again, from our UN panel, we’ve learned that this process has been going on over 20 years, and on an ever escalating and invasive manner over the world’s agricultural fields that nowhere and no land could be prevented and safe in this current world’s agriculture picture except or unless someone like John Kempf’s Eco Agriculture concept is owned by the majority farmers in the world as well as if existing GMO supportive policies are reverted.
So, the hazardous several billions tons poisons in our soil, water, air, food directly also surrenders and controls all of us both in terms of mind and body therefore our own lives and children and grandchildren…
That is why we’d like to bring to your attention to direct connection with the GMO based agriculture and water, food, health and environment…
Equally important and scary that water as a common good and basic right for survival in addition to existing water scary in some parts of the world and while over 2 million children die annually because of the lack of clean-drinkable water in some parts of the world; and adding directly poison to the soil and watering it into underground that also will directly go to all sorts of water streams, rivers and ocean that also have been evaporating into the atmosphere that travels – circulate around the world that I consider that the GMO based agriculture causes much more threat than that of Climate Change!!!
Further and of equally important concern is the world’s organic and conventional SEED stocks are under the control of less than 10 transnational companies, which leads me to the following questions although I don’t have an answer to that:
Have we been modified since the GMO based agriculture has invaded our world?
If so, with what purpose?
Is it something similar to a goal to Bertrand Zobran in Don Brown’s INFERNO that because the world population has reached its maximum capacity and the world cannot sustain more than 4 billion people, that the world population should be eliminated?
Or, is it a goal that whoever cannot adapt to biotechnology and post humanity or in another words, to the concept of “trans human”, then those will not be allowed to survive or continue in the generations to come?
Or, is it an ultimate goal to modify us to strengthen our body and life-span via speeding up the process of mutation through modified seeds and poisoned water and air in combination of bio and nano-technology that in the case of nuclear war or world’s destruction by over escalating destructive practices in the world, that those who’ve become a trans human would be able to live long enough and have enough strength to go to other planets in order to start a new life there?
I would like to echo Julie that something must done through political system as well as the United Nations has to take this issue as one of the major entity within its key components such as FREEDOM OF INFORMATION, GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM, WORLD SEED STOCK SHOULD BE UNDER THE SOVERIGNY OF EACH COUNTRY AND NO MORE THAN %25 SEED STOCK COULD BE UNDERTAKEN BY ANY COMPANY OR CORPORATION…
To that extend, there is an ongoing discussion at the UN for a Global Water Governance and also for energy as well that we need to look at all these within the above context that in that case, who will be governing world’s water and electricity that will be determining everything we live and stand for including our health, mind and future…
As conclusion, each and every member states of the United Nations, must fully implement the four pillars of the Article 19 that also must be a UN Security Council Treaty or Convention that must be binding each and every member states…
In that context, the US also must promote its constitution Article#1 Bill of Rights and Public Access Television practices of the US to the world as part of its Foreign Policy… Only then, we may have some hope both in the US and in the world…
Thank you very much for your attention.
PROGRAM with the Bios of the Speakers
CUNY Graduate Center, Oct. 20, 2014
Speakers and co-organizers of the event from left to right:
Julie Mardin, Dr. Michael Hansen, Bircan Unver,
Prof. Abdullah Tansel, Amb. Carlos Garcia, Amb. Palitha Kohona
Photos by: Ali SARIKAYA - NY Ataturk Cultural Center