Opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the USA and Europe, and demand to support environmentally-friendly agriculture were the two main reasons why 30,000 activists and farmers took to the streets of Berlin on January 18th, 2014.
No to GMO
The chief threats resulting from the transatlantic agreement, which is to be ratified by the government in Washington and the EU authorities in Brussels, include the risk of foodstuffs containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) flooding the European market. Farmers and activists from a hundred organizations working for the environment expressed their concern about the impact of American GMO’s on EU agriculture, animals, environment and the consumers of food products.
Postulates for the government
The protesters gathered in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office to call for an improvement of the quality of the produced food, and for curbing the power of huge investors who control vast acreages of land. They argued in favor of supporting organic plantations and young farmers, as well as for renewed efforts to combat world hunger.
A strategic moment
The timing of the protests was deliberate, as one of the largest agricultural fairs were inaugurated shortly afterward, at the end of January. Also, on January 18th, a meeting of tens of Ministers of Agriculture from all over the world was held in Berlin. In such circumstances, the voice of 30,000 protesters could not go unnoticed.