In St. Vincent many farmers, teachers and other people want to protect the island against the growing of Genetically Modified Organisms.
GMOs are created in a lab, by inserting a gene from one organism into another unrelated organism, producing plants and animals that would never occur in nature. No long-term safety studies have been done on humans, but animal studies link the consumption of GMOs to an increase in allergies, kidney and liver disease, ADHD, cancer, infertility, chronic immune disorders and more.
Monsanto, Astra Zeneca, Du Pont, Novartis and Aventis, are some of the big food industry companies. They dedicate themselves to the commercialization of genetically modified agricultural products. They use policies on which the producers become dependent. The seeds sold by the companies are genetically modified. They speak of “seed protected from agrochemicals” that is developed from chemical products. A soy plant, for example, does not produce grains that can be used as seeds for the next season.
Companies use this system to promote the sale of seeds and agrochemicals and to increase its lucrative potential through producer dependency. The producers remain trapped in a vicious cycle, totally dependent on these companies and the price policies they adopt. If the producer acquires seed through these companies he should secure fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, bactericides, fungicides etc. at the same time. Otherwise, their production will not be profitable.
It is good to remember that the use of agrochemicals causes the degradation of natural resources like soil, water, flora and fauna, leading to biological and ecological imbalances.
A recent example was in Haiti in 2010. Not long after the earthquake, Monsanto volunteered to offer 475 tonnes of hybrid seed to boost agriculture in Haiti. They were transgenic seeds. There was pressure on René Préval’s government to refuse this offer. The farmers and some specialists linked to mixed farming were outraged and thought that accepting this offer would once more return Haiti to being a colony of slaves, no longer to France, but to Monsanto and the multinationals of agro-business. The catchphrase of the Haitian farmers: “No genetically modified seeds. We are fighting for our food sovereignty and our local seeds”.
Besides the seeds, the companies dedicate themselves to the production of animal feed (poultry, livestock etc.) that accelerates animal growth for commercialization.
The companies win with this, but we pay a high price: risks to our health and environment where we live. The food produced is not healthy. The vegetables, white meats, beef that we buy in the big supermarkets no longer have natural flavour. The nutritional value diminishes due to the use of agrochemicals.
The publications of these companies show that they are looking to the third world, with the motto sustainable development.
Meet Activist Vandana Shiva talking about Seed Freedom