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Shock ad protest greets farmers

Agriculture show targeted in Metro poster campaign against GM foods, pesticides and green algae

FARMERS and food producers heading for the Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris are being faced with a series of posters on the Paris Metro protesting about intensive farming and highlighting fears on genetically-modified foods, pesticides and green algae.

Environmental campaign group France Nature Environnement is putting up the posters in Odéon, Saint-Lazare and Montparnasse stations linked to the show, which starts at the Paris Expo at Porte de Versailles on February 19.

The group, made up of 3,000 environmental associations, won a legal challenge by farming organisations against its plans and has six posters on the main problems with intensive farming: fears over genetically-modified foods, pesticides which kill bees and excess fertiliser on fields which flows into the sea and leaves beaches covered in green algae.

Pork producers’ group Inaporc had asked for a ban on the poster campaign against green algae saying there were other ways of opening up a dialogue than “keeping on hitting us in the head with the same things”.

The algae poster shows a child playing on an algae-covered beach with the legend: Industrial pork production and fertilisers create green algae. Its decomposition gives off a toxic gas.

Another, shows an algae-covered beach with the legend: No more salads.

Elsewhere, the posters show a man playing “Russian roulette” with a head of genetically-modified maize and a take-off of the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill bearing the legend Kill Bees as a reference to the dangers of over-use of pesticides.

Xavier Beulin, president of the agricultural producers’ federation FNSEA, told Le Figaro that it was just a Parisian caricature shock campaign. He added that they had been in discussions with environmental groups for a long time.

However, FNE hit back saying it was not an attack on the farming way of life, just against practices that were harming the countryside. The group was still committed to finding a compromise and working with farmers.

See also:
Sarkozy to open agriculture show

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