Gene Drive is a threat to people, country and even world’s food sovereignty: La Via Campesina in Montreal

Full text of the intervention made by Geneviève Lalumière of UNION PAYSANNE at the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Montreal July 2-7, 2018.

As member of Union paysanne, my name is Geneviève Lalumière, a québécois peasant seed saver. I work daily to save, develop and share open pollinate peasant seeds. My organisation Union paysanne is a North American member of La Via Campesina, which brings together 200 millions peasants. Together we are working for food sovereignty. Peasant agriculture produces seventy percent of the world’s food.

La Via Campesina is firmly positioned against gene drive. It is a threat to people, country and even world’s food sovereignty. A technique, which threaten life, biodiversity and social systems, cannot be used when its impacts are irreversible. This uncontrolled technology is dangerous and can even cause mass extinctions. It can contaminate our seeds, our animals, our soil, destabilise our ecosystems and destroy our resources.

La Via Campesina, the movement that organises who feeds the planet, believes that genes drives does not favour biodiversity.

Modern biotechnologies and the patents that accompany them undermine our ability to produce food in a culturally, ecologically and economically appropriate way. They are false solutions that endanger our economy, our lives, our traditions. As local communities, guardians of the land, we claim the right to define our own farming systems. We say no to gene drives and modern biotechnologies, unstable and poorly controlled. Yes to food sovereignty.

We want to thank the interventions of Boliviano, the Women groups, IPLC, ETC group and Friends of The Earth.

Also Read: Via Campesina denounces corporate influence in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada

For more about this meeting, click here