Source: Combat Monsanto
The new report “Combatting Mosanto” by La Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International and Combat Monsanto, provides snapshots of frontline struggles against Monsanto and other biotech corporations pushing GM crops. It shows that small-holder and organic farmers, local communities and social movements around the world are resisting and rejecting Monsanto, and the agro-industrial model that it represents.
These objections are having an impact on policy-makers tasked with regulating the food and agricultural sectors in relation to GM crops and pesticides, as this report demonstrates. In India, for example, a moratorium has been implemented on the cultivation of Bt brinjal, a GM version of a key Indian food staple, and Mahyco-Monsanto has been formally accused of biopiracy by India’s National Biodiversity Authority. After a decade of popular opposition in India, a movement is gathering under the ‘Monsanto, Quit India!’ banner, with a view to ejecting the company from the country.
The movement against Monsanto is also growing in Latin America and the Caribbean. The powerful farmers’ movement in Brazil continues to promote alternative food sovereignty initiatives; and mass mobilisations in Haiti roundly rejected Monsanto’s hybrid seed ‘donations’ after the Haitian earthquake. A ten-year moratorium on GMOs has been introduced in Peru, and legal cases now restrict pesticide use near homes in regions in Argentina. Guatemalan anti-GM networks are issuing warnings against impending legislation and about US aid programs that could lead to the entry of GM seeds and food.
The majority of Europe’s public remains opposed to GM food production, and several countries in Europe now have national bans on Monsanto’s MON810 maize and BASF’s Amflora potatoes, despite the European Commission’s opposition to these bans. Monsanto and other biotech corporations are also facing legal challenges in the USA, including lawsuits aimed at stopping GM crops spreading into national wildlife refuges. The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa is encouraging local communities to avoid the bad example currently being set by South Africa, which has adopted this failed technology even though the GM varieties in question have been shown not to live up to claims that they are drought and flood resistant. Malian farmers and NGOs are also continuing their struggle - which has been successful so far - to prevent the commercialisation of GM crops in Mali. The full report is available here.