This morning, in the middle of Brussels at the EU Commission, over one million signatures calling for a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops were delivered by Avaaz and Greenpeace to the Commissioner of Health and Consumer Policy - John Dalli. I was there to witness the event and record it so that if you joined this ground-breaking initiative - you'll feel like you were there with us too!
Our hand over of this record breaking petition with Avaaz - is the very first EU Citizens' Intiative. And the signatures were also printed on the world's largest piece of art made by one man - a 3D hand painted scene of an organic farm with agricultural biodiversity that's GM-free -- representing the way most Europeans want their food and fields. The art was such a dramatic contrast the urban surroundings. Passers by seemed stunned and a little confused as they walked by. They probably thought they were still asleep - dreaming. It was certainly very surreal.
The 3D pavement art, including over 1 million first names, was unraveled by volunteers in front of the EU Commission.
Commissioner Dalli came out to view it and recieve the petition at around 11am. And I managed to dive down underneath the media frenzy to ask Dalli a question while recording his answer on my phone. The footage is a little shaky (because I was kneeling down on the icy pavement and being shuved about a bit) but if you signed the petition - I'm sure you'll be interested to see how it was recieved. And at the end of the video - I take you on a tour of the artwork and show you some of the 1 million names.
Here's some memorable quotes from the delivery:
Comissioner Dalli said: "I can assure you that there is a political will to listen to everybody and one million signatures is a voice that we should listen to."
Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: "The ball is now in the European Commission's court. Over a million citizens from every European country have spoken and now expect the Commission to change its course and take seriously the health and environmental problems of genetically modified crops."
Avaaz campaign director Alice Jay said: "The Commission now has more than a million reasons to listen to the concerns of European citizens rather than continuting to cave in to the GM lobby."
More video soon!
Follow the #GMfree tag on twitter to see who's talking about it.