Haitian Farmers Refuse Monsanto's Seeds and Instead Commit to Burning Them
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Food Freedom recently reported that Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, peasant farmer leader of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti "a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds. Monsanto's seed donations were an unwelcomed gift to a country with vocal opposition to GMO seeds for fear they would ruin what little agriculture the country has left.
Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds to Haiti and MPP leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste has vowed to burn them. According to Food Freedom,
The hybrid corn seeds Monsanto has donated to Haiti are treated with the fungicide Maxim XO, and the calypso tomato seeds are treated with thiram. Thiram belongs to a highly toxic class of chemicals called ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs). The EPA determined that EBDC-treated plants are so dangerous to agricultural workers that they must wear special protective clothing when handling them.
Monsanto is trying to create the some addiction it created at home, abroad. Considering that more than 9 out of 10 soybean seeds in the U.S. are linked to Monsanto. It's the same for cotton and just a little lower for corn. That gives Monsanto complete control over seed companies because no seed company could survive without selling Monsanto's Round Up Ready Seeds. I wrote last year that with a monopoly on the industry the company can increase prices. In the end, this cycle will hurt farmers who depend on the seeds because farmers can't risk the litigation that would ensue should they replant the seeds. While the initial donation would be free, peasant farmers could never afford to continually pay from them year after year. It's a heartless scheme.
Sara Novak is a writer specializing in food, travel, and nature for Planet Green and TreeHugger.