Mozambique: UNAC Restates its Position Against GMOs in Agriculture

The world is currently facing various systematic crises that have serious devastating consequences in the life of humanity. Among these are financial, economic, climate and food crises. These crises find their birth, platform and springboard in a neoliberal system under the command of a minority interested only in their own enrichment to the direct harm of entire communities and nations.

This situation has been accompanied by an environment fertile with the appearance and flourishing of false solutions in response to contemporary challenges of humanity. One of these solutions, allegedly for the resolution of the lack of food in the world, mainly in the global South, is the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. In Mozambique particularly, there are voices that begin to defend the introduction of GMOs in agriculture through the adoption of a law that regulates the cases of seed-crossing to improve the productive capacity of national agriculture, thus combating food insecurity.

The National Peasant Movement (A União Nacional de Camponeses, UNAC) the movement of family farmers created in 1987 with various national, regional, international allies and a member of the major international movement of family farmers, La Via Campesina, restates in a loud voice its position against the use of GMOs in agriculture because we understand that among other negative impacts:

a)       The planting of GMOs increases the control of multinational corporations that produce and market them over the producers and consumers in such a way that removes from farmers, particularly family farmers, their natural right to plant, develop, select, diversify and share seeds among themselves;

b)       The genetically modified organisms do not resolve any environmental crisis but rather by themselves place the environment at risk because they lead to the standardization of plant varieties and to the disappearance of biodiversity;
c)       The introduction of GMOs in the developing countries is a component of a global campaign developed by some governments, multinational corporations, and multilateral institutions aimed at maintaining their control over seeds and consequently over the international system of production and commercialization of food, reducing the sovereignty of dependent countries through absolute control over the market of foods;
d)       The technology of GMOs represents the most visible signal of hegemonic control on the part of its defenders, of scientific and technological knowledge at the service of monopoly and private interests and not at the service of humanity itself.
e)       The cultivation of GMOs is based on and is part of a campaign of the multinational forces to destroy peasant agriculture through a coercive model that requires the peasants to constantly replenish their seeds because genetically modified seeds are incapable of restoring their fertility naturally.

For these and other reasons we reaffirm our total and entire trust in family farming and in the model of agricultural production that for thousands of years we have been developing, proposing and defending in strict accordance with Mother Nature and with the future of humanity. Because we believe that:

1.       Agroecological agriculture as practiced by small farmers as well as the policies in favor of Food Sovereignty are the only real effective solutions to respond to the multiple challenges with which our regions are confronted;
2.       The methods of agroecological production allow us to obtain food products that are of good quality and do not harm the environment, simultaneously improving and conserving the fertility of the soil thanks to a good utilization of natural resources and without the use of chemical products;
3.       Peasant seeds by themselves, as has been proven for thousands of years, can respond to climate adversities and in this way ensure the food of present and future generations;
4.       Agroecology requires and is sustained in the development of knowledge and of technology based on secular and traditional indigenous knowledge of agroecological science, which advocates the protection of the natural environment, biodiversity and economic and social viability of a truly sustainable form of development; 
5.       Agroecology, by maintaining the control of seeds in the hands of the peoples, creates conditions so that the peoples and their nations can develop in a sovereign way, capable of deciding their own destiny;
6.       Peasant agriculture is the pillar of the local economy and contributes to maintaining and increasing rural employment and allows the survival of cities and villages. It allows the collectives to reinforce their own culture and identity.
7.       The policies of development must be social and environmentally sustainable and fit into the real challenges of the peoples. Food sovereignty defends a system of production that maintains fertile soils, respect for biodiversity, cultural habits and the diversity of local seeds.

Maputo, August 8, 2011
No to privatization and to standardization of life!
Yes to biodiversity and food sovereignty!

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