tagged w/ corporate terrorism
"The SOYA MODEL implies a war against the population, the emptying of the countryside, and the elimination of our collective memory in order to shoehorn people into towns and convert them into faithful consumers of whatever the market provides. The impacts of this model go beyond the borders of the new Soya Republics. The dehumanisation of agriculture and the depopulation of rural areas for the benefit of the corporations is increasing in the North and in the South." - Javiera Ruli in United Soya Republics. The Truth about Soya Production in Latin America
Read the Press Release here...
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a new project to develop the soya value chain in Africa in partnership with American NGO, TechnoServe and agricultural commodity trading giant Cargill. The US$8 million project will be implemented as a four year pilot in Mozambique and Zambia with the intention of spreading the model to other regions in the future.
The Gates Foundation continues to back agricultural strategies that open new markets for strong corporate interests while assisting in the creation of policy environments to support foreign agribusiness’ interests. The programme will yoke African farmers into the soya value chain and open the door for major agribusiness players such as Cargill, while displacing African agricultural practices and traditional crops. In addition, there is a very real threat that this project could be a foot in the door for the introduction of genetically modified soya onto the Continent.
Since the green revolution of the 1960s, the soya bean has become the number one forage crop on the international market. About 85% of the world’s soybeans are processed into soya bean meal and oil, about 98% of that meal is further processed into animal feed, the balance is used to make soya flour and proteins. Approximately 95% of the oil is consumed as edible oil with the rest being used for industrial products such as fatty acids, soaps and agrofuel. In the last 40 years, production of soya bean has increased by over 500%, driven by the growing affluence of Chinese consumers, who are now eating more meat than ever before, as well as a significant increase in demand for soya beans as feedstock for biodiesel. In addition, soya beans fix nitrogen in the soil, thereby improving soil fertility and making it an excellent rotation crop.
The United States, Argentina and Brazil are the three major producers of soya in the world. The aggressive expansion of soya monocrops in Latin America has wreaked socio-economic and environmental disaster - in 2008 over 30 million hectares of soya was grown in Brazil and Argentina, where soya monocrops are notorious for displacing rural populations and causing mass deforestation. In April 2006, Greenpeace announced that in the 2004/2005 growing season, 1.2 million hectares of the Amazon rainforest was deforested as a consequence of soya expansion.
The vast majority of global soya crops are genetically modified to withstand applications of herbicides. (Approximately 93% of soya production in the USA is GM, 98.9% in Argentina and 70.7% in Brazil). The introduction of herbicide tolerant soya has created a sharp increase in the use of highly toxic herbicides – in the USA the use of herbicides has increased by 382.6 million pounds over the past 13 years, with herbicide tolerant soya beans accounting for 92% of that increase.
No multinational on the planet has greater interests in soya production and trade than the American corporation Cargill. Cargill’s business operations include purchasing, processing and distributing grain and agricultural commodities, the manufacture and sale of livestock feed and ingredients for processed foods and pharmaceuticals. Their assets and business operations in Latin America are staggering; it is responsible for over 75% of Argentina’s grain and oilseed production. It also has great interest in fertiliser production, having a two-thirds stake in one of the world’s leading fertiliser companies, Mosaic. Their business interests in Africa are scant in contrast. It has now partnered with the Gates Foundation to introduce a soya value chain in Africa.
cont."The SOYA MODEL implies a war against the population, the emptying of the... more
A Terra de Direitos - Organization for Human Rights (http://terradedireitos.org.br/) published a case study on the various human rights violations by Syngenta Seeds, multinational agribusiness corporation which produces genetically modified seeds and pesticides.
The actions that violate include murder, physical and moral violence against landless rural workers, maintenance of private armed militias, carrying out forced evictions without a court order, tampering with poisons, soil contamination with pesticides, contamination of agro-biodiversity with GM seeds, criminalization of social movements, among many other actions.
Read below the full text.
In the Matter of Syngenta: GMOs, Pesticides and Violence
This case brings several main aspects of human rights violations by Syngenta Seeds, multinational agribusiness corporation which produces genetically modified seeds and pesticides. The actions that violate include murder, physical and moral violence against the landless rural workers, maintenance of private militias armed, carrying out forced evictions without a court order, tampering with poisons, soil contamination with pesticides, contamination of agro-biodiversity with GM seeds, criminalization of social, among many other actions.
A Terra de Direitos has initiated direct action against the transnational since the complaint made by IBAMA in 2006, together with Via Campesina. The main reason was to perform experiments with illegal transgenic seeds in the buffer zone of Iguaçu National Park, the city of Santa Tereza do Oeste, west of Paraná. The company was fined a million dollars.
Aiming to denounce human rights violations by Syngenta, the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) occupied the area. After the occupation, the workers were attacked by an armed private militia, hired by Syngenta that caused injury to more than 10 people and the death of landless rural worker Valmir Motta de Oliveira, also known as Keno.
The case was reported in Brazil, in international courts and also in the country of origin of the company [Switzerland]. Beyond the procedural questions about the use of militias, the death of Keno and the illegal planting of GMOs, the case raises Syngenta Seeds controversy over the role of transnational corporations, which have many incentives, have many rights but have a few obligations, which makes it very difficult to hold them accountable for rights violations.
Since 1998 the Brazilian subsidiary of the Swiss company Syngenta Seeds maintained an experimental field, with an area of 127 hectares, in Santa Tereza do Oeste, 6 km from the Iguaçu National Park. Disregarding environmental laws and the Park Management Plan, the company made a series of environmental crimes, conducting experiments with genetically modified soya and maize, which in March 2006 led to IBAMA fining it 1 million reais.
To denounce the crimes committed by Syngenta, the activists from Via Campesina occupied the experiment station, on March 14, 2006, during the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP / MOP) in Brazil. The occupation of the experimental field had wider repercussions and international support, including organizing a visit by environmentalists from over 15 countries occupied the area during the Convention.
The 70 families remained in the area until November 2006 when the state of Parana enforced the injunction of ejectment issued by the State Court of Cascavel. Still, the families returned to the site after the area was expropriated by the State Government for creating a Center for Agroecology. After 16 months of resistance, on July 18, 2007, fulfilling a court order, the families moved to the settlement Benario Olga, also in Santa Tereza do Oeste.
In October 2007, some 200 workers from Via Campesina reoccupied the Experimental Farm after rumors that Syngenta would resume the illegal experiments, which would expose the park and nearby conventional crops to the danger of contamination by GM crops. In addition, Syngenta had not paid the fine imposed by IBAMA.
Hours after the reoccupation, more than 30 heavily armed men dressed in uniform and the company "NF Security" invaded the area and fired workers. After shooting Valmir Mota ("Keno") shot in the leg, they executed a point blank shot in the chest. The militia also tried to shoot the worker Isabel do Nascimento de Souza in the head, which resulted in the loss of one eye and the movement of the left part of the body. Three other workers were injured and a security guard was killed by members of his own militia to shoot wildly, as indicated by police. The "NF Security” was acting erratically in the area, together with the Western Rural Society (ORS) and the Movement of Rural Producers (MPR), representatives of local landowners.
Via Campesina demanded punishment of those responsible for crimes - especially the principals - the disbandment of armed militias in the region and the immediate closure of the NF Security company. The concern was also to ensure security and protection to the lives of other leaders, prime targets of attack as well as all employees of Via Campesina in the region.
A prosecution was brought as a result of crimes committed during the action against the NF Security company workers and rural workers. No person and no principal of the Syngenta Corporation was terminated. Only the owner of NF Security and nine gunmen were denounced for their crimes.
continuedA Terra de Direitos - Organization for Human Rights (http://terradedireitos.org.br/)... more