Friday Apr 06, 201201:06 AM GMT
Report: Worldwide opposition to Monsanto growing
Fri Apr 6, 2012 12:58AM
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A report released Thursday shows that worldwide opposition to the biotechnology giant Monsanto and "the agro-industrial model that it represents" is growing.

 

La Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International, and Combat Monsanto, the groups who issued the report, show that small farmers, groups and communities in every continent are rising up to resist Monsanto's products and environmental harm. While Monsanto's -- and other giant agribusinesses' -- approach, including genetically modified crops, has been shown to hurt biodiversity, local food knowledge and the environment, the report shows that "food sovereignty is a real and feasible alternative."

 

This new report documents the intense opposition to this powerful transnational company, which peddles its genetically modified products seemingly without regard for the associated social, economic and environmental costs," said Martin Drago, Friends of the Earth International's Food Sovereignty program coordinator.

 

"This report demonstrates that the increasingly vocal objections from social movements and civil society organizations are having an impact on the introduction of GM crops," said Josie Riffaud from La Via Campesina.

 

The report notes that an "unprecedented agribusiness offensive underway, under the banner of the new 'green economy' " positioning giant agribusiness companies like Monsanto to have even greater control. The report's highlighting the "offensive" echoes a report issued last month on global water security from the Defense Intelligence Agency that also pushed biotechnology and agricultural exports rather than agroecology and food sovereignty.

 

"Who will hold Monsanto responsible for the global depletion of biodiversity, soil erosion, and violations of peasant rights wrought by the application of petroleum-based inputs required by industrial agriculture?" asked Dena Hoff of the National Family Farm Coalition / La Via Campesina North America. "Farmers worldwide are resisting for food sovereignty, but the rest of the world must join us," she added. Common Dreams

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

For about 75 years, between 1929 and 2004, the Monsanto plant churned out herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals, although it made 2,4,5-T only from 1949 to 1971. Monsanto sold 2,4,5-T (later found to be contaminated with dioxin) to the Army for use in making Agent Orange, which it sprayed on Vietnamese jungles and farms. The dioxin is estimated to have killed and maimed an estimated 400,000 people and caused 500,000 birth defects in Vietnam.

 

In February, a French court found Monsanto guilty of poisoning a French farmer. The Lyon court ruled in favor of Paul Francois, who claimed to suffer from neurological debilities after inhaling a Monsanto weed killer in 2004, reported Reuters. Huffington Post

 

Genetically engineered crops are causing an economic disaster for farmers in the U.S. GE crops have cost American taxpayers $12 billion in farm subsidies in the past three years. Within a few years of the introduction of GM crops, almost the entire $300 million annual U.S. maize exports to the EU had disappeared, and the U.S. share of the soya market had decreased. In addition, GE crops have lead to an increased use of pesticides, while resulting in overall lower crop yields. organicconsumers.org

 

There is compelling evidence that animals provided with feed containing GM ingredients can react in a way that is unique to an exposure to GM plants. This is revealed through metabolic, physiological or immunological responses in exposed animals. Organicconsumers.org

 

AN/SM

 

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