The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Pope Francis Condemns Multinational Corporations for Choosing Profit Over People
Ever the planetary steward, Pope Francis stressed the importance of food security, good nutrition and reducing food waste at the 39th United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conference at the Vatican yesterday.
“Statistics on waste are very concerning: a third of food products end up under this heading,” the Pope said in front of representatives from more than 120 countries, citing FAO data showing the magnitude of edible food produced on the planet that is lost or wasted.
The Pontiff also voiced concerns over large-scale acquisitions of agricultural land by multinational companies and governments.
“Climate change rightly worries us, but we cannot forget financial speculation,” he continued, explaining how both global warming drives world hunger, as well as speculators who drive up market prices of basic foods such as grains, rice and soybeans purely for their own economic gain.
“It is unsettling to know that a good portion of agricultural products end up used for other purposes, maybe good, but that are not immediate needs of the hungry,” he said.
He emphasized that access to basic foods as "a right of all people."
Food "must be valued as the fruit of the daily toil of individuals, families, communities, farmers," Francis said.
Where there is no work, there is no dignity.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 11, 2015
According to a FAO press release, Pope Francis held a separate meeting with the organization's Director-General José Graziano da Silva, where the Pontiff stressed the importance of FAO's ongoing efforts to decentralize. He asked that FAO member nations work together to protect land and water resources, especially from multinational companies.
"If all Member states work for one another, consensus for action by FAO will not be late in arriving, and moreover, FAO's original role will be rediscovered—fiat panis, 'let there be bread,'" he said, in reference to the Latin phrase that appears on the FAO's logo.
He also urged that all consumers should "decisively commit" to modifying our lifestyles and using natural resources more sustainably.
"We must begin with our daily lives if we want to change lifestyles, aware that our small gestures can guarantee sustainability and the future of the human family," he said.
He concluded, "The Church with its institutions and its initiatives, walks with you, knowing that the Earth's resources are limited and their sustainable use is an urgent need for agricultural development and food security."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.
By Emily Moran
If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."
By Catherine Davidson
Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.
Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.