A campaign in Defense of Life and against Agrotoxics!
(Harare, December 3, 2019) During the VI International Conference of “La Vía Campesina” held in Indonesia 6 years ago, the peasant movement took up the Campaign in defense of life and against Agrotoxics, which seeks to denounce the close connection between the use of agrotoxics, the intervention of the production and marketing companies, and the different contradictions of agribusiness and their impact in the health of the population, in the contamination of nature and in economic dependence. Furthermore, with this campaign, we promote peasant agroecology as the model of healthy food production, which guarantees Food Sovereignty and prioritizes the defense of life, for the survival of our planet and humanity.
Currently, there is concrete evidence of the damages caused by the overuse of agrotoxics, both for those who apply them in production and also for those who consume the contaminated food. At the same time, millions of peasants, indigenous peoples and small farmers worldwide embrace agroecology as a way for life against the agribusiness model, producing healthy food with a high level of efficiency, enough to feed the people with fair prices and in culturally appropriate ways and also ensuring resilience to disasters.
The use of agrotoxics is one of the main pillars of agribusiness together with transgenic (genetically modified) seeds. The production and marketing of agrotoxics is monopolized by 4 large transnational companies that recently merged and have, working with and through subsidiaries and representative companies, full control of the world agricultural input market: Monsanto-Bayer, DowDupond, Syngenta-ChemChina and BASF.
With this campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of agrotoxics, La Via Campesina also intensifies its struggle against transnationals, putting forward a different model of agricultural development for an agriculture based on peasant agroecology instead of agrotoxics and transgenics, centering peasants as the historical subject that feeds the people instead of agribusinesses that value profit over life.
The use of agrotoxics is no longer an issue solely related to agricultural production, but rather it’s becoming a hazard for public health and for the preservation of nature. Several European countries have already banned and punish the use of GMOs and agrotoxics due to their dangerous side effects.
On this path of resistance, La Via Campesina along with its allies are calling to build unity between organizations in urban and rural areas, producers, consumers, environmentalists, students and researchers for life and Food Sovereignty. For all these reasons, this is a permanent campaign focused on training, information sharing, mobilization and articulation.
Join this collective struggle on December 3 and help us bring this campaign to every territory!
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Agroecology is life, agrotoxics kill!