|GMOs rejected in Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay (27/6/2007)|
1.GMOs rejected in Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay
1.GMOs rejected in Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay
Brazilian judge Pepita Durski has forbidden the commercial release of transgenic corn by the National Technical Biosecurity Commission (CTNBio). The decision was made after a public civil action undertaken by the NGOs Land of Rights, Brazilian Consumer Defense Institute (Idec), Consultancy and Services for Alternative Agricultural Projects (AS-PTA) and the National Small Farmers association (ANPA). The CTNBio has gathered today, and on the agenda is the commercial release of ten items, as well as two requests for Certificates of Quality in Biosecurity.
Farmworkers from Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay rejected the planting of transgenic crops, considering that they put the population at risk, as much in terms of food cultivation as in terms of social security. The latter is a consideration due to the numerous cases of illnesses and even deaths -- such as that of the baby Silvino Talavera in Paraguay -- resulting from fumigation with the poison Glyphosate, which is used to complement transgenic soy.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, The National Technical Biosecurity Commission (CTNBio), which has been meeting since June 19th, received a prohibition on the release of any of the commercial varieties of transgenic corn. The decision was taken, during a preliminary hearing, by the substitute federal judge of the Environmental Court in Curitiba, Pepita Durski, this past monday (the 18th), after a public civil action undertaken by the NGOs Land of Rights, Brazilian Consumer Defense Institute (Idec), Consultancy and Services for Alternative Agricultural Projets (AS-PTA) and the National Small Farmers association (ANPA). The CTNBio has gathered today, and on the agenda is the commercial release of ten items, as well as two requests for Certificates of Quality in Biosecurity.
In Mexico the farmworkers refused the experimental cultivation of transgenic corn and defended the mexican strains of the crop. In Paraguay, it was affirmed that the lack of control over transgenic crops is a threat to the country's foodstuffs sovereignty. The farmworkers of Mexico, together with rural workers' and ecological organizations, made a new call to the official in charge of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Cattle, Rural Development, Fishing, and Food (Sagarpa) in that country, Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez, asking that he prevent the commencement of the experimental planting of transgenic corn. They also warned of 'trickery' by Monsanto and the National Farmworkers' Confederation (CNC) being used to get them to accept the cultivation of those crops and their commercialization for the fall-winter agricultural season of 2007-2008. The farmworkers affirmed that the company undertook bribery and cooptation to get the mexican government to accept the planting of genetically modified yellow corn, in spite of the risk it implies for the hundreds of different strains of corn that exist today.
The increased demand for corn, after the announcement by the United States that it was going to devote a large amount of its harvests to the production of ethanol, the lack of controls on agribusiness monopolies, and the various pressures on people to plant transgenic corn now constitute a 'threat to the quality, quantity, and price of the corn that we bring to people's tables, and of all the foods that depend on it,' according to the National Association of Commercial Farm Production Businesses (Anec), member of the National Council of Farmworker Organizations (Conoc).
The situation puts white, red, and blue corn strains at risk, strains that are the basis of the indigenous farming economy, and of mexican cookery. According to Anec and the Conoc groups, the people would be forced to consume genetically modified yellow corn, used as food for cattle, and to pay the price that the monopolies set on it.
During this month, producers working with the environmental organization, Greenpeace, organized a virtual campaign in defense of corn and of a 'countryside with farmworkers.' The affirmed that without a healthy and fair national production of the grain, the country will not be able to go on existing as a super-diverse and rich nation. And it certainly won't be able to go on being called such if the indigenous people and the farmworkers are kicked off the farmland, as is the dream of the neoliberals.
2.Paraguay: Disappeared Campesino in Hands of Police
On June 25th community leader of the campesino organisation MAP (Movimiento Agrario y Popular) disappeared from the community of Pariri in Paraguay.
According to witnesses, Perfecto Irala, was kidnapped by an official of the National Police named Vazquez of the commissariat of Santa Clara, in the district Vaqueria. Various people and representatives of the MAP have been trying to obtain information in the local commisariats, without any result so far. They denounced the disappearance in the Human Rights Commission of the Paraguayan Congress.
Perfecto Irala lives together with his wife and two children in a land occupation brought forth in Pariri on Februari 26th. Community members in support of Campesino Organisation MAP occupied 14 hectares of genetically manipulated to denounce the illegal transfers of public lands in their community to Brazilian soy producers. According to the Paraguayan Agrarian Statute, state Institution INDERT (responsible for land reform) Paraguayan families are entitled to these lands but by means of corruption many of these lands end up in the hands of large scale producers.
The MAP demands the government the immediate release of Perfecto Irala and a sentence for those responsible for these acts. As well as the immediate handover of the occupied lands to the landless campesinos of the MAP.
Photo: Placido sitting in front of his house prior to land ocupation in Pariri. His children are helping to move their few belongings (march 2007).
See www.lasojamata.org and Brutal Murder of Paraguayan Campesino for more information.