Common Dreams Staff | April 4 2012
“Farmers worldwide are resisting for food sovereignty, but the rest of the world must join us.”
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 programme coordinator.
“This report demonstrates that the increasingly vocal objections from social movements and civil society organisations 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.
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Selections from the report:
‘Les Faucheurs Volontaires’: tactical non-violent resistance against GM
The Voluntary Reapers or ‘Faucheurs Volontaires’ are a group of self-organised non-violent French activists that have led several direct actions to ‘neutralise’ field tests set up by GM corporations and, to a lesser extent, unauthorised fields cultivated by pro-GM farmers. Jose Bové has been an important actor in the movement and a spokesman for the anti-GM activists, although this organisation does not recognise any leadership as such.