Friday, May 29, 2020

8 Billion Now, 2 Billion For Future Round Up Cancer Lawsuits

Yes! Monsanto/Bayer agree a 10 Billion dollar settlement for just one of the cancers that Round-Up causes. Non-Hodkin Lymphoma. 8 Billion for current claims and 2 billion for future claims. Institute of Responsible Technology Video Update

I'm coming to think that money is not only the root but also the foliage of  all evil!

Now will Irish people accept that Round Up is a carcinogen? 

What with courts seeing evidence and agreeing and people dying in their droves?

There are hundreds of thousands more legal claims regarding 7 more cancers, kidney and liver disease, alzheimers, heart disease, aanxiety, ADHD, autism , allergies, IBS.

For all these and more there is 'substantial evidence' showing that Glyphosate/Round Up creates physiological changes and an epidemiological * link - incidence rate levels of occurrence. 

Glyphosate on Irish Food 

Come on Ireland, every supermarket food item is doused with Round Up here...unless it specifically is labelled organic.

Glyphosate In Gardens

 They sell it in Woodies for us to spray around the garden. 

Glyphosate on Land

Every farmer goes mad for it on grazing fields, verges, crops. 

Glyphosate on Public Land

Every county council has endless supplies and designated workers to spray it around public spaces and roads. 

Settlements For Ireland

On the contrary, Ireland and all of Europe subsidise pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers and farm animal-pharmaceutical through the the EU's farm subsidies scheme. 
I bet not one penny of settlement are we looking for from them here. I don't suppose those corporations even pay a little tax contribution to support our national health service. Of course, we're creating a new markets and never-ending uptake for those pharmaceutical company-sponsored consultants and hospitals. I know, I've seen the Lyrica merchandising. We are poisoning ourselves all day everyday. And even if you scrape the surface of history, you see that Monsanto and Bayer recruited Nazi survivors, still keen to press on with large scale gassing of lesser populations. When I visited Aushwitz and the other concentration camps, there were massive piles of red tins, each labelled 'pesticide'. That is how they gassed the jew, the genocide, you might remember it? Well, now they've got us poisoning ourselves.    

We're veritably barking mad aren't we? Ignorant? In denial?

Farmers may blame the green movement for having to stop but it's not really our fault. We're trying to help. The Green Party in government are now going to be able to go further and get financial supports for the things that should have been perfected and protected decades ago - clean food, fertile soil, biodiversity, see freedom, water security. 

Let Organic Farms Lead The Way

If there's any still struggling on, let the organic farms that practice natural agriculture, regenerative agriculture, fermenting common weeds to restore soil fertility and crop rotation lead the way and stop the spraying of food. There are many who already know how to manage pests and diseases without resorting to poisons.

Irish Public Health

I suggest this because profiting, economic relationships and cost saving are pretty meaningless once public health is gone. Have we learned that much this year?!

India bans 27 HHPs - Highly Harmful Pesticides for Public Health & Environmental Wellbeing

Public Engagement 

I'd be interested to know how many of the population would be willing to help farmers manage crops, staying vigilant for pests, weeding or paying extra for not sprayed groceries? Oh yes and could you learn to choose the imperfect vegetables and fruit, rather than the gleaming plastic wax coated ones.As a society could we go back to cutting out the occasional bad bit? It wouldn't kill us probably...whereas the farm sprays are.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Offering a Control Group To Any Independent Study of Wifi Public Health Effects

Not many people offer their body to science before they die but I've decided that an urgent study on the effects of wifi is called for. To have something and someone to compare 1) the average saturated person and urban centre with or 2) rural community with 5G masts every hundred metres, with trees cut down to give them clear projection, I am offering Harmony Hall and I to be the control group 3) No phones/wifi/electro magnetic frequencies/TV/computer in the the house for a year. I only used the word 'volunteering' loosely as one of these days I need to get paid for the vast amount of research, reports and writing I do! 

"I am very interested in volunteering as a wifi-free sample. In terms of studies on the effects of wireless frequencies on human health and wildlife, it has come to my attention that it has proved difficult to find any control group, as the use of mobile phones and constant internet connectivity is so widespread now. 

I live in a bio-architecture house that provides a coherent space, without internet connection, television or other EMF interference. I have been able to create a fractal environment, due to energy tools (dowsing, meditation and musicianship) and creative practices and other natural activities, allowed for by time not spent on line. 

I have provided a B&B retreat to many programme developers who have confirmed, without exception, that companies are seeking only faster and smaller devices and they have never been asked to design or even explore increased safety features, or reduce their emission of radiation etc.

I would be glad to participate in a comparable study of human potential or human health or preferably both, short or long term. My academic background is a First Class degree in Philosophy from QUB and I've worked as an academic writing tutor for many industry experts returning to study for their Masters.

Would you be able to forward my message to whoever is in charge of health research at Connect or let me know if it is another university department that is working on specifically responsible technology. 

Many thanks, "

...I wonder what response I will get! I'll let you know!

And don't comment that the 5G information on this image is true or false please. Thing is, we don't know and they don't know as there have been no long-term studies ever done and no studies at all that have not been funded in part by companies with a vested interest in the result. For example, this 'Connect' research at Irish Universities doesn't even mention health, just speed and rural access. It is funded to the tune of 50 million euro by 'Industry Partners 
Aeronet Global
Analog Devices
Civic Integrated Solutions
Cork City Council
Cork County Council
Dell EMC
Digital Canopy Technologies Ltd
Dublin City Council
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co.
Granahan McCourt
Johnson Controls
Nonlinear Systems
Predictive Control Systems
Real Wireless
Rivada Networks
S3 Group
Silent Sensors
Westire Technology Ltd

So! Just saying, let's do one before it's rolled out in Ireland. Maybe we deserve everything we get for blindly being online so much but it might be the final straw for the birds and the bees- literally as pollinators of our food systems and metaphorically -in terms of our reproductive capacity!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Putting Public Health To Rights Through Education

Where as pharmaceutical companies have a mission statement that wants citizens on an average of 4 prescribed drugs from cradle to grave...we want Education Reform from cradle to grave, as it's much better for Public Health 

Changes in Education Policy Please 

At school:

Start with the basics and keep Environment and Food competencies and Ethics in the curriculum, from the beginning to end, not dependent on what subjects are chosen for examination.

1) How To Identify Beneficial and Harmful Insects, without fear or distaste. They should not be rounded up as bugs or it plays into the hands of those who will want to sell them pesticides later in life.
2) Consider, decide and prepare food. The question what to eat? should deal directly with the four reasons people eat meat:
They like the taste. It's traditional (everyone does it). The belief that it's necessary for nourishment.  The question, what else is there to eat? These four give ample room for developing thinking skills, cooking from scratch with whole foods, the acquired taste for those flavours, growing skills and developing altruism and empathy; with discussions of what does everyone else get to eat in areas where there is not enough water or countries like India where they believe, for example, that cows are sacred. Each child must decide for themselves whether they think it's right or wrong to eat meat or wear leather and all those considerations of how to live their lives in future.

There are many pieces to the jigsaw and if children have a developed kindness and disposition to animals, interest in their unique attributes and sympathy with what happens to them as farm animals, it will help us transition to a society that eats less meat. If there continues to be pandemics, the next generation won't have to be told to 'be kind', 'protect their grandparents' , cover their mouths when they cough and wash their hands before they put them to their face or eat.

3) Relational Development. This is a quote I came across in my diary...I was going to crop it but all my writing around it shows how busy life is, even in a lockdown. Maybe that should be a fourth topic to teach;
4) Valuing, organising and prioritising your time!

The Get Up & Go Diaries are great to keep you engaged in your career and social plans, with many inserts of wisdom of its own

5) We need sensory, healthy, playful green spaces - commonly known as a garden. It's not rocket science but massive school projects are ending up with only tarmac forecourts.


Ethics for all and Nutrition for Those That Need To Know

All university degree routes must include an Ethics module each semester. It is empowering as well as crucial that students recognise the impacts of their actions and future work and learn how to weigh them up and make good decisions. In educational leaders, in Europe, Belgium, Philosophy is attached to all courses, meaning that students develop their thinking and moral standpoints too.

All Medical Degrees must include Nutrition. There are a multitude of physical and mental health indicators connected to diet. There are a multitude of physical and mental health diseases connected to our diet. Minority through addictions and over eating but mainly through agricultural and industrial chemicals and other toxins accumulated in the body. Even the over-cooking and preservation of foods that destroy the vitamin and mineral profile and the mass-production of food that has altogether diminished the nutritional value of even original ingredients. If doctors were talking about organic food, whole foods, including raw foods in your diet and the connections they come across between various cancers and mobile phone use and pesticides with celiac disease and dairy with respiratory problems then the public would listen, learn and adapt. Vijay Joshi on Diet, Reversing Diabetes, Thyroid, Hypertension
This is a friend of mine, now a nutritionist in India, who used to think that the western diet was best until he got diabetes and needed to put together exercise, medication, other lifestyle changes, manage stress. It is a fascinating story that encompasses the whole fear and experience of being caught in the illness and in the hands of doctors and hospitals. Most importantly for health, he learnt that Diabetes is not a one way street, there is a way out through diet. This is the message we need to give; Not just medication for ever but full recovery. We should not be leaving it out of doctor's training.

Most importantly for a Policy on Education, though, it describes how he was told to give things up! And he did it. He gave up animal ingredients, he gave up tea and coffee and artificial sweeteners. This is the power of doctors. We need doctors to advise people to make changes to their diet and what changes to make. That is the only way to push the green transition and save the environment. People need to be told by those seen as professionals that clean foods (not chemically grown), whole foods, organic diets and limiting exposure to toxins are the way to Health too.
My Organic Vegan Raw Meals On Wheels Menus
Light-hearted Lifestyle Content on Diet and Health

Adult Education

In Ireland we have Fetac which is an alternative qualifying system, mainly in vocational and practical skills with academic components. However, Fetac levels 7&8 amount to an undergraduate degree. A few years ago, there was a sudden rush on qualifying all the carers we have in Irish society. Courses were offered in social care, nursing care etc. They weren't just offered, you could no longer do your job, even if you had 30 years care experience, unless you subjected yourself to two years back-to-basics and college, theory and assignments for one of these qualifications. Maybe they're good, maybe not but they are geared towards a clinical, safe, under stimulated and under nourished care package as before. Again, no food and nutrition section. Food in residential care settings is notoriously conventional, with little response to dietary requirements or nutritional benefits to the particular residents.

My experience qualifying in Horticulture three years ago   

"This says it all, as I sit down to write some proposals to move towards Food Security in Ireland. I was the only Horticulture student graduating that day, many in Care. There were 500 applicants to manage pig farms - Fetac Level 5 - the next term and not enough to put together a class of 6 in Horticulture.

No wonder biodiversity is in so much trouble! It had even crept into our course. Very last thing, they added a compulsory Monsanto spraying module, biohazard suits, back pack, learning the concentrations. Still not a word about poisoning pollinators and actually any alighting insect be they beneficial or not - birds too. Never a word about organic growing methods. Not a word about how the rushes and weeds just go brown, they don't miraculously disappear, you still have to pull them out and meanwhile you've rendered the soil and surrounding area inert.

Acceptable Pesticide Levels In Food
Not a word about how the safe levels of pesticide traces in our food has been deemed higher and higher. And I don't remember any elaboration on public health. Even the fact that agri sprays accumulate in the body, we don't break them down and they disable our digestive enzymes and WHO says they could be carcinogenic. Do you remember when all MEPs gave a urine sample and 100% were found to have over this level of glyphosate in their systems!

And even the gardeners and council worker's don't know and haven't been told (even since Kilkenny County Council declared its own Climate and Biodiversity Emergency: Spraying away, butchering habitats, inspecting and granting licenses to farm operations that are 100% destructive to the environment.


Furthermore, it's the hard grafting natural farmers and growers that have to find extra money for labelling and certification. The conventional farms can kick the crap out of their animals, confine them indoors their entire life, feed them genetically modified grains, spray their potatoes 30 times (average, no exaggeration) and every other crop in their short sowing season, preserve every product with refined sugars or synthetic E numbers and consumers are not told on labels about that.
Still, at least now during the lockdown everyone has been growing vegetables and planting fruit! Yes!! But let's get the education in line with the needs of society. Organic food and responsible technology.
Me graduating in Horticulture, later that year with a Masters too, of sorts...Master Composter, run by Stop Food Waste. Now that would be amazing to adapt to schools and businesses.

Managers and Industry Leaders - Individual Consultancy

All managers must undertake a course to effect system change, specific to their operations. We have the Business Continuity Grant and other Covid 19 recovery resources. There are plenty of informed and competent mentors who would be delighted to be paid to work one to one over five weeks and the minutes and actions taken recorded and collated centrally. The course should investigate, analyse and provide ways to stop waste, resources use, contamination, pollution, use of harmful cleaners or components and include total transparency and assessments of supply chains. 

Plans for manufacturing plants that must be repurposed altogether can be helped with by their environmental consultant too. 

We have lots of high tech military operations here in Ireland which we shouldn't really as we're a neutral company. Our military technology could be required to shift to meet Civilian and Environmental needs, now that we have the climate emergency to deal with. Ireland's Arm Trade

"The MEDACT webinar on Arms Conversion "The Arms Industry in the Era of Covid 19" at home. It gives a fascinating insight into the truly visionary Lucas Plan project in the 1970s when the workers drew up plans to produce useful equipment instead of war planes and weapons. The plan included an amazing 150 products, not only hybrid car engines, wind turbines and microprocessors, but also home dialysis machines, portable life support machines and mobility aids. None were allowed to be made. What a different state our economy would be in now if it had been accepted" 

Covid 19 Corporate Plan for Recovery
Tech Giants though have suddenly been made heroes by the pandemic and substantially richer!

Monday, May 18, 2020

35-44% EU's Tax Equal to 50 Billion Euro Per Year Paid Mainly To Agri Giants?!

Dear Commissioner For Agriculture,

I didn't include this picture, obviously, in my letter,  but it sums up the situation for farmers trying to work with pollinators  and those that run rough-shod over biodiversity

Przepraszam, nie mówię po polsku, so I hope you do not mind me writing in English. Thank you.

We have at last got the Green Party coming into government in Ireland and negotiating as strongly as possible to prioritize meeting our 7% reduction in carbon emissions. There is a political will and consumer determination to make Ireland the first fully organic Member State of the European Union. However, we need your help. Please would you redirect all our farming subsidies towards the transition? 

The farming community are very worried and resistant to making changes without the financial support of their European funding. They are well able to grow crops, clean fuel and animal feeds and manage orchards. They are interested in old and new natural farming methods that rebuild the soil and are chemical-free. 

Ireland Would Like To Prove That Six Years Chemical Free Will Restore Its Ecosystems and Increase Food Security

As you will understand, every big change requires taking a risk. In transitioning to organic, there are several central aspects; support for the 6-year detox period before organic certification is awarded. During this period, Europe must protect Ireland from cheap, conventionally-farmed imports, so that the market remains secure. We know this is possible, through supermarkets, as regulations are already in place prohibiting some produce like GMOs but there are many other chemicals banned for use in Ireland that are still on our shelves, in produce from other EU countries.

We would also like products wrapped in non-recyclable plastic and those that release micro-plastics to be banned for sale, from the multi-nationals. This will give a chance for our small producers of natural cleaning and cosmetic products to compete.

Organic feed is expensive, so we intend to return to pasture fed animals, calf at foot dairy and mainly crops. Organically reared animals are afforded a higher welfare standard and that will need to be encouraged/financially support. In regard to grain, though, we certainly want to avoid Irish produce having a negative affect on third world countries, as the European grain in Africa has inadvertently caused. 

Apology For Refusing Organic Farming Grants In The Past

We, as a country, apologize for not being ready to accept European grants for organic farming when we were offered them fifteen years ago. The government was unaware of the seriousness of 1) our environment’s degradation and 2) the value of our rainfall and clement climate. The government has also been rather dominated by the meat and dairy industries, the anti-biotics of the pharmaceuticals’ to keep our, intensively housed and too early removed from their mothers, animals alive and the seed-monopolizing and pesticides/fertilizers of the agri-chemical giants. 

We would dearly love to become known as the ‘organic capital of Europe’ rather than the ‘animal testing capital of Europe’, which we are currently, due to our lax welfare regulations enforcement and pharmaceutical sponsoring of our hospitals. 

Environmentally Sound Business’ Recovery Post-Pandemic

Due to the pandemic, the Irish Job market has been hit very hard, as in other countries. Most of our small businesses have shut leaving only supermarkets open. There are, however, many individuals who have had to quarantine, bankrupting their once-sustainable small business but who have found that they could contribute to a social and local economy, better than they could compete in the commercial market. 

The Irish government has endeavoured to protect its citizens and made an emergency payment available. We are endeavouring to do a survey of the recipients of this payment to calculate the percentage that would be willing to work on food and water security and in what way: For example, transitioning farms, be it helping with harvest, planting fruit and nut orchards, weeding and managing crops and hedges manually, rather than chemically and with machinery; provide a local service or produce items, avoiding waste or contamination of water, in exchange for a continued income support. 

There is a shortage of organic mills and other services for organic produce still, as less than 2% of our farms are currently organic but there is a lot of machinery here that could be re-purposed or part-exchanged for the things each crop and sector needs. We would like to re-purpose livestock too, to create manure for rebuilding the soil and to fuel community power generation, rather than just raising for slaughter.  

From Subsidizing Agricultural Chemical and Pharmaceutical Corporations via animal vaccines, antibiotics and sprays, to Subsidizing a Just Transition

Unfortunately, at the moment, all Ireland’s farm subsidies are tied to veterinary, pharmaceutical and agri-chemical treatments. Therefore they just serve to increase the manufacturers’ profits, however toxic and however directly responsible those same corporations are, for weakening and poisoning the food supply and biodiversity, through seed patenting and treating.  

Instead of the ‘animal health’ veterinary shots that the EU is funding, as well as grants awarded to ‘feed lots’ in intensive fattening operations, who do not observe good welfare or feeding practices etc, we ask that Ireland’s farming EU subsidies from this moment forwards are re-directed through the New Green Deal, to what Ireland is calling the ‘Just Transition’. 

We want to produce clean food. We intend to stop live export. We intend to guarantee a fair price for our farmers, for produce. We intend to protect our ground water, coastal waters and conserve our rainwater and fresh water aquifers. We are committed to changes in the spending of our national revenue as well; away from scoping for, or using, fossil fuels, notably natural gas, coal and turf, in the awareness of their beneficial role if left in the ground, as carbon sumps. 

We intend to retract funding from blood sports and stop Halal slaughter, which we are sure is against EU regulations but has crept into the meat industry in Ireland, as a cost-saving method of slaughter that is only justified by an international trade arrangement.  

Introducing Environmental Benefit Clauses To All Subsidy Applications and Awards

The fact remains that we cannot ask the ‘stewards of the land’, the farmers, to make the changes to responsible land and water management without it being tied to a change in EU funding. We also can’t ask the multi-nationals, pharmaceutical, dairy, meat and big technology to adhere to new public health and environmental guidelines unless the EU enforces it. 

It is a matter of including categorical social and environmental benefit clauses, into each subsidy application and award criteria: No chemical preservatives, ripening mechanisms, flavour enhancers, pesticide, herbicide or fungicide or fertilizers to be used. Neither can they be allowed in animal feeds. Equally, a broad invitation to applications that support the transition should be extended: Subsidies must be connected to good practice. The diverse agricultural changes that are needed should not be limited. Farmers willing to experiment with natural fertilizers, new crops and planting techniques, sheltered growing systems, downscaling and providing national or local buying schemes and therefore reducing transportation should be eligible. The details of the distribution can be managed by the Irish Department of Agriculture, as long as the money has not already been promised to the blind growth-driven corporations. 

Raising Animal Welfare Standards

Ireland is also ready to fully recognize the sentience of farm animals and the realization of their 5 freedoms, which we hope will immediately exclude intensive farms, from subsidization. Regulation farm inspections here have become so far removed from animal welfare that they penalize farmers who offer bedding, such as straw, rather than a concrete floor for pigs, on the basis it is easier to manage infections.

There is a growing population of compassionate consumers who avoid animal ingredients altogether.

We see the declaration of a climate change emergency, the resulting New Green Deal and so many Green Party candidates’ election to the Dail as an opportunity we will not have again; to preserve Ireland’s resources and reach our carbon emission and other climate action targets.

At last, there is recognition that Ireland is the only country in the EU, possibly the world, that still gets enough rainfall and we are putting a value on that and ask you to help us protect it –from polluters, such as Shell; from those who would monopolize it, such as Nestle and from big tech, such as those who seek to fell trees and roll out 5G without sufficient long-term studies on its effects on biodiversity and health.

In addition to the power of the industries and corporations, we need help dealing with the banks. As we face into post-Covid recovery plans, the Irish are willing to live more simply, if it means living without extreme debt or uncertainty. Therefore, we ask that EU farming grants be paid into a State-owned bank from now on, to support a move to interest-free lending supports for food security initiatives.

If you correct the EU subsidies, Ireland will create a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system on which you can then model supports for other Member States in transition.

Many thanks and in gratitude for your intervention,
Best regards,
Frances Micklem

Harmony Hall Bioarchitecture Think Tank, Kilkenny, Ireland  

I am a small pig farmer; an author and practitioner of energetic medicine; teacher in plant-based, organic horticulture and nutrition. I have worked as a legal advocate in a meat company Whistle Blowing case. I have been an advocate for farmers’ and animal rights and the environment for twenty years. 

Most recently, I have started exploring policy writing for the system change needed to meet the challenges of corruption, climate change and to correct the absence of compassion, in farming, I am currently working on a contribution to the EU’s CAP Reform Policy.

Prompt Response from Grace O'Sullivan's office:

 Dear Franc
thank you for cc'ing this office with your recent email. Indeed the CAP represents 35% of the EU budget (More than 50 billions of public money per year) and is the main influence on the EU Food and farming system, with massive impacts on the climate, on biodiversity, on health.
Grace as part of the greens/EFA group in the EP have called for  a fully democratic process in the EU parliament on all its aspects, including the transitional regulation for 2021 and 2022. During this 2 year  transition which will prolong the life of the current CAP, Grace will continue  to use her voice to build the future new CAP in full coherence with both the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity strategy as well as the EU's commitments on climate. 
Kind regards,

Liz O'Dea
Constituency Officer
Office of Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Is dying not enough for your precious meat companies, Minister Creed?

Life as a meat plant worker is a low-wage, bloody business, workers told the Guardian. “It’s horrible killing cows, when you see how they do it,” says Florin*, a Romanian worker employed in a meat plant in Ireland for five years said. “They kill it – shoot it, cut the neck, cut the legs. I don’t like it. The cow is slow, an emotional thing. And you see the blood, and they go from being alive to being in pieces. That’s the way. When you see the conditions – it’s a dirty and nasty place, nobody is happy.” Temperatures in the factories can hover at 4C, with industrial ceiling fans that circulate cool air to keep the meat free of microbes. The job is repetitive and tough; workers take painkillers to get through their shifts."
 And I happen to know ,when there were complaints about the pollution from those fans at QK Meats, now Meat and More, the Queallys simply turned them in, so that workers got the heat and the returned fumes. That is how much the bosses care for the workers here. Less than the cows, pigs and chickens...if that is conceivable.

Dear Minister Creed, 
I wrote to you two months ago to say that Kerry Group sausage factory staff were already infected. Management were providing no opportunity to social distance, no PPE, but instead moving staff around to meet demand. 

I asked you to make sure that meat factory staff  could self-isolate. I asked that slaughter houses be closed for a month or two, as Department vets would not be overseeing the meat company slaughter lines and exports. There is enough meat in Ireland to keep consumers going. As long as you don't allow imports at the same time as stopping our production, the lockdown could have raised the value of meat, I suggested. But no.

The only response was from a local Green Party spokesman who said unfortunately the meat industry are too dominant. 

Are you not even able to protect the workers from mistreatment from our gardai, 
let alone request the implementation of HSE guidelines? 
Let alone protection from their degenerate management 
while the staff are dropping like flies purely for their profit?

This is appalling as it is clearly not workers' fault. It will not be just one of us who is observing this human rights issue. We would like a public response. 

Thank you,
Frances Micklem

Letter To Minister Creed from the 26th March 2020

Dear Minister Creed, I gather that Spain has called in NATO for humanitarian aid as there are so many people dead in their houses. This is a real crisis that the beloved Agri Sector is not above.

Make sure you don't let imports of things we're no longer exporting, or you'll penalise our farmers when the crisis is over.

As below, I argued for the closing of Irish slaughterhouses as non essential work and the stopping of live export as there are 40km traffic jams at European borders full of animals, impeding medics and supplies getting through.

The one caveat that I hope is obvious is that for every export ceased, equivalent import must be stopped too. I have worked with many farmers who have had to plough their crops back into their land as the supermarkets won't take them. Substances that have been banned here in Ireland mean that their vegetables are not as flawless to look at and the weather changes mean their harvest doesn't happen at a very predictable time. Nonetheless, fruit and vegetables, grown using those banned substances, continue to be imported, unchecked and unhindered and given the supermarket shelf space. We mustn't give warmer countries with the elements of reliable,weather and therefore times of harvest and therefore ability to ensure their produce will be available at a certain time this extra advantage. Multi-national supermarkets must not be allowed to include, in their supply chain to Irish Supermarkets, chemical preservatives, pesticides, insecticides and GMOs banned for use here. It's unfair as well as being against a move to better environmental measures, let alone food safety. 

In the same way, supermarkets must not be allowed to import meat from other countries while the lock down ensues on Irish slaughter and export. This period can raise the value of meat in consumers' eyes by being less available. It is crucial not to submerge the market with imported cheap, unethical, unhealthy, imported meat and chicken. Farmers will have to hold on to their animals until the summer and negotiate then on a better footing as the meat industry will be starting up again too and not allowed to go elsewhere to cut corners, costs and even basic welfare standards.

Thanks, Frances Micklem 

Letter from 24th March 2020 to Minister Creed

Previous letter to Lock Down The Meat and Dairy Industry as not above the law:

"Dear Agriculture Department,
I have also sent this to the Green Party, of which I am a member (They explicitly want an end to live export and an end to intensive large farms and a return to small, high welfare operations), the Animal Welfare Desk and the new Animals First political party.
I read about the government's 'Order to close all unnecessary businesses'! Hallelujah. Factories are going to have to close….at last. How many years have I sworn I will live to see the end of the unnecessary killing of animals? Senseless, inexorable murder, short lives of confinement, prodded into trucks, forced to walk in terror to their torture machine, no anaesthetic or sedation first (thanks in part to a shortage of gas for pigs and adhering to horrific Halal for cows), total awareness of what is happening, blood everywhere; living, dead and semi-conscious animals of your own species, even herd, everywhere? Not one Irish man on the line, only Eastern Europeans and others without enough English to get a better job. These guys are already suicidal, their souls gone (Two suicides in QK Meats' Coldstore). Completely past caring. Drenched in violence and entrails. Can we send them home for their self isolation too? Surely they’ve earned it.
So I’ve been begging the powers that be for 24 years. Many have been campaigning since the 60s. There are millions of vegetarians and vegans now, in the last ten years recognizing that we don’t need to kill animals for food, so we shouldn’t. We don’t need to take the milk from cows, so we shouldn’t. This reasoning, which has always been so obvious to some, is now suddenly getting its chance to be legislated for. Today we heard the order to stop all unnecessary business.  You’re going to have to CLOSE ALL SLAUGHTER HOUSES AND STOP LIVE EXPORT.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for 3 months only. It’s a pause, a hiatus. The DAFM, who texted me today because I'm a farmer, informed me that they’re closed for business for the foreseeable future. You are certainly not sending your vets in to do their usual inspections for food safety or welfare so that means, it should be stopped altogether. Only if you confirm that the full complement of DAFM vets are at sea ports and in factories should they be allowed to stay open. We want proof. But actually, we don't want proof that business as usual is allowed, we want closure.
What will the farmers do? Dry their milking cows off and rough off the animals still in sheds with less and less hard food and more and more turnout. Then let them off in the fields, to sustain themselves, while minding their water, until this crisis is over. Then we can think again. 
The government can decide how much support the farmers get. The meat industry does not need handouts. It can rest easy on its profits and your department can insist they continue to pay their staff while they’re not working. (I refer to when Dawn Fresh (part of the Queally Group) was closed due to food safety non compliance and they laid off all their staff with immediate effect, with no pay or notice. It is not the government who should pay for everything with tax payer’s money. They can push for insurance companies as well to honour a ‘loss of business’ or an ‘acts of God’ phrase or whatever they need.
Please don't give us some old chat about slaughter being necessary for food. You know that farms, factories and trucks should be grounded like everyone else to flatten the curve of the virus spread. Like everything else, meat and dairy products can be rationed. Do not play into the hands of the already unscrupulous meat industry who are only too delighted to knock out lower and lower standard sausages (for example), as there is such a rush on. The Kerry Group in Shillelagh, Carlow have already had cases of Covid 19 but haven't closed, just moved staff around. Perhaps your rule of thumb should be, if they reported that case then they are attempting to be responsible about not spreading the virus and if they didn't they are definitely trying to cover it up and stay open and profiting, regardless of risk to staff and customers? 
We have to slow down how much meat we eat anyway for the environment. We have to stop the import of cheap meat, in order to make sure Irish farmers' products are the only ones on our market. You have to bring the meat industry to task. This is our chance.  
I am so grateful for this chance to stop the killing of animals and birds, for the first time in living memory. Even if it's just for a time. People might start to see sense and see the reality of this barbaric modern day industry, so far removed from it's small-holding, non-gmo-fed, free range, pasture fed, past.
If you want to hear how a few Irish farmers are doing it, here is a Limerick farmer on how he helped his land recover, stopped feeding grain and dried off his cows for under a fiver.

Please don't miss the opportunity Close all slaughterhouses and stop live export

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Animal Agriculture in a Just Transition

Good response from Green Party Spokesman on Agriculture: Pippa Hackett

Dear Frances,

Thank you for your email.

The live export to non EU countries, although somewhat sporadic at this time, is sadly continuing, and it is our continued policy and desire to see this particular trade banned. Needless to say, it will be met by much resistance unfortunately. 

I wouldn’t call it backtracking in relation to the export of unweaned calves. Our policy is aiming to phase out this particular form of export, be that through reducing numbers of calves or opening up other markets for them. An outright ban may well cause greater welfare issues here. But yes, although not ideal, the fact that they are travelling within the EU does offer them some protection in terms of welfare legislation, something which is absent from those animals exported outside of the EU.

I take your suggested points on board, and some would certainly overlap with our policies. Others, it seems, are not quite so simple to implement. But that should not stop us exploring them.

Thanks again for getting in touch.

Kind regards,


Just a letter I wrote to some of our public representatives today to keep them on the Animal Welfare case!!

Dear Pippa, 
Cows - The Ghosts In The Machine

I was relieved and grateful to hear that the Sarah M live export ship of bulls to Algeria this Friday has been cancelled.
I was sad to hear that the Atlantic M live export ship of 2000 bulls to Libya arrived there on the 11thMay after 10 days at sea.
I was sorry to hear a slight back-tracking on the Green live export stand that consisted of a reply to a question on live export: ‘European destinations might have good enough regulations in place’.

The policy for an end to live export is being thwarted by there being 1) 500,000 unwanted dairy calves and 2) price- and weight-fixing by the Irish meat industry at Irish factories. 
This reminded me to write and remind you what we must negotiate for, in government. 
1)   Stop breeding, it is the only way to there being less animals.
2)   Stop Halal Slaughter. It is against our welfare standards and unjustified for overseas deals.
3)   Stop the import of animal or plant produce/ingredients that are being produced in Ireland.
4)   Immediately ban the sale of animal or plant foods/ingredients produced using chemical feeds, fungicides or other treatments that are banned for Irish farmers to use. 
5)   Guarantee the sale of Irish farmers produce and that means supermarkets must not be allowed to buy in earlier, more guaranteed harvests from warmer countries with more reliable climates. 
6)   Existing numbers of farm animals and birds can be gradually reduced, with the State fixing a strong price for farmers.  Animals do not have to be killed at two years, or 14 months. As we wind down the industries, some animals might live until eight or nine years. The meat can be stored in the industry’s Cold Stores and rationed, as other things were, in the lockdown. This will allow a gradual but guaranteed transition for consumers, to a more plant-based diet. 
7)   Farmers need the government to enforce a ban on the import of meat and dairy, as strongly as the Green Party stand for no live export and for the end of intensive farming.
8)   Green agriculture can only be achieved if subsidies are redirected to the production of only clean food: No agri-chemicals; a major increase in orchards as an alternative to small beef farms; organic mills to be funded and other services; a resuming of organic crops like beetpulp, oats, ecological fuel, ethnol as well as vegetables and fruit. 
9)   As well as Coilte shifting to native forests and community orchards, they must be banned from spraying their forestry.    
10)Avoiding labour displacement, we must create farms that we can manage – I refer to Guinness refusing Irish hops this year (a week or more after the farmers had planted their crops) and the fruit farms who were importing Eastern European pickers, rather than using Irish workers.
11)Animals can be crucial in a transition from animal agriculture to crop production, by harvesting their manure to enrich the soil, currently stripped by chemical fertilizers. We will need to grow oats and peas and hazelnuts; crops that can be used for alternative milks, without merely displacing emissions by buying in almond and coconut milk for example.  
12)Both cows and pigs waste could fuel biodigester community energy systems. 
13)Promote and share environmental information. If for example, the inherent cruelty of Ireland keeping 99% of its pigs in intensive conditions without some of their five freedoms and 2) the inherent environmentally-destructive and health- destroying effects of agri-chemicals and GMOs were promoted, alongside 3) the targets we agreed at the climate summit, people would be more motivated to move away from the supermarket food they have become dependent on and source a local CSA and local organic produce.  
14)Calf at foot dairy. Furthermore, as we ban intensive farming and phase out breeding animals and poultry at all, there can be a requirement for calf at foot dairy. It has been shown to work even in automatic systems across Europe and mainly in Sweden. 
15)Animal Welfare and Animal Control must both be managed by the Agriculture Department.  Currently they are separate and it is not working for animal charities and is not promoting responsible pet ownership or welfare. I bring your attention to the culling of deer, seals, badgers, horses and dogs in pounds and the other contradictions in preserving wildlife, managing cruelty and neglect and rearing animals for food.

You know all these things but please negotiate now, looking to the future, rather than just addressing what will we do with this year’s calves and just leaving the meat and dairy operations as they are, to find ourselves in the same situation next year. 
I am a Green Party member and a small pig farmer in Kilkenny. I also run Harmony Hall Vegan Think Tank. I have practiced and taught plant-based organic health for twenty years.

Best regards, Frances Micklem