There is a global outcry against the GMO company Monsanto. The ‘biotech bully’ is now to initiate field trials in India and is awaiting clearance for this

Outcry Against the GMO Agricultural Corporation – Monsanto the Biotech BullyMarch Agasint Monsanto TIDE RISES AGAINST MONSANTO

  1. The global biotech giant Monsanto has been under fire for pushing sale of genetically engineered seeds and herbicides (the Roundup brand) in third world countries against which there has been a global public outcry. It has been alleged that up to $1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money is earmarked for Monsanto’s Plan Columbia.
  2. Human rights organisations as well as local communities have been alleging that the company’s product, glyphosate herbicide, is a highly concentrated version that uses additional surfactants which could be destroying water sources, food crops and protected areas in the Andean regions of South America. The apprehension is that local communities in the area are negatively impacted and are turning to the drug trade as a result of the company’s activities
  3. The Genetically Modified Food lobby is now pushing its way into Europe and is pressurising governments to relax or even eliminate restrictions of food imports by using lobbies, without full disclosure and even resorting to tactics such as intimidation, censorship, illegal planting and fakery. It is a fact that European diplomats have worked directly for Monsanto and that the company is known to spend millions in lobbying
  4. Two significant worldwide protests have taken place against GMOs and more particularly against Monsanto’s activities and products – activists from more than 400 cities in 52 countries joined marches in May 2013 and then again in May 2014, when hundreds of thousands if not millions demonstrated against the principles, the products and the activities of these corporations. Another MAM (March Against Monsanto) event is planned for October 2014 where MAM will be working with Dr. Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya network.
  5. Most recently, the highest court in the Central American country of Guatemala suspended the controversial ‘Monsanto Law’. The law seeks to insulate seed corporations that show to have discovered new plant varieties. The law, which is seen to threaten agricultural processes, threaten food sovereignty, particularly of indigenous peoples and ruin national biodiversity, has faced widespread opposition.
  6. One of the reasons why Monsanto has such a strong support lobby is the fact that its stock has rallied 40% in the last month. According to the Economic Times, Monsanto expects 8-18% growth over the next few years, a double digit growth in the poultry sector, an increase in demand and wider use of hybrid seeds
  7. Monsanto is eyeing a 100 million acres of potential soyabean cultivation in a bid to plug what it is calling the “Decade of the Soyabean”. The profit motive is clean in the company’s announcement that it feels it can rake in profits of up to $ 4 billion over the next 5 years as a result of this.
  8. In a legal action initialed by U.S. farmers, it was alleged they suffered losses as a result of wheat fields contamination after genetically modified strands was discovered in Oregon. Monsanto agreed to settle lawsuits by after a dozen class actions were initiated against the company last year
  9. Now Monsanto is looking to initiate field trials in India and is awaiting clearance for this. The company has genetically-modified cotton and corn traits ready for India and is hoping that the new government will support the latest technology.
  10. However there is significant agitation against GM crops in India as well. Under pressure from the RSS-linked organisation Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the BJP has directed its MPs not to go on a Monsanto sponsored US trip. The company had extended invitations to 3 BJP, 2 Shiv Sena MPs, one SAD MP and one TRS MP to visit Iowa for the annual outdoor agricultural equipment exhibition in the US; a so-called Farm Progress Show. (Source – Times of India)

 

Image courtesy – March Against Monsanto