Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monsanto are merchants of death in Paraguay, says former President

Monsanto are merchants of death in Paraguay, says former President
Sept 26, 2012 | Current

Paraguay's former president, Fernando Lugo, who was democratically elected in 2008, was forced out of power at the end of June via a swift impeachment process. Almost immediately the unelected government of the new president, Federico Franco, fast-tracked the approval of the planting of Monsanto's GM cotton, without waiting for the preliminary safety studies required by law from Paraguay's environment and health ministries.

Under former President Lugo's administration, Paraguay's National Service for Plants and Seeds Quality and Health (SENAVE) had refused to approve GM cotton, but almost immediately after Lugo was ousted, the president of an agrochemical company was put in charge of SENAVE and he immediately included Monsanto's GM cotton (Bollgard) in the national registry of commercial plant varieties (RNCC).

The former head of SENAVE was Miguel Lovera, who had previously come under attack after his agency destroyed 44 hectares of illegally planted GM corn. Enforcing agricultural and environmental regulations that interfere with the interests of multinational companies and the GM lobby is clearly not on the agenda of the new government.

The strength of Monsanto and the GM lobby in Paraguay comes from the fact that Paraguay has become one of the world's biggest suppliers of GM soy - much of it in the form of animal feed for Europe. Channel 4 in the UK is among those who have reported on how GM soy cultivation has led to violent conflict involving peasants, big landowners and the police, while the pesticides sprayed on the GM soy are causing serious birth defects and other health problems - see item 2.

Some see Paraguay's GM lobby, backed by the likes of Monsanto, as key players in the recent coup.
1. Monsanto, Coup Gov't are Merchants of Death, Says Lugo
Prensa Latina, 19 September 2012

Asuncion - The overthrown Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo said on Wednesday that U.S. multinational Monsanto and the coup d'etat government currently in power in Paraguay are sowing death and destruction.

Lugo took part in the closing ceremony at an agro-ecological fair sponsored by peasant and indigenous organizations as part of the Week of the Seed, which aims at protesting the marketing of transgenic seeds to sow cotton and corn.

During his speech, Lugo emphasized that his administration worked for two years to recover the native seed previously and successfully used, but the June parliamentary coup d'etat put the multinationals, especially that of Monsanto in the driver's seat, to exterminate the native seeds.

Great multinationals like Monsanto have been sowing death in Paraguay's native seed stock since the coup, but we will make our traditional seed blossom again, Lugo assured the crowd.
2. Videos on the devastation caused by GM soy in Paraguay

*Killing Fields: The True Cost of Cheap Meat

*Head of Paraguay's food and agricultural service attacked for destroying illegally planted transgenic corn

*Paraguay: the human cost of GM soy

*Paraguay's Painful Harvest (GMOs)

*Farmers Struggle in Paraguay against GM Soy Cultivation

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