(June 3rd, 2010) As part of a Via Campesina’s call for international solidarity in defense of food sovereignty, Family Farm Defenders in the United States wishes to express its strong support for the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) and other farmer allies in Haiti as they take direct action on June 4th, World Environment Day, to rid their country of unwanted chemically treated hybrid seeds imported by Monsanto.
This is hardly the first time that Monsanto has exploited human tragedy to advance its own agenda of monopolizing the world’s genetic heritage for private profit. Whether it’s a civil war, drought, tsunami, or earthquake Monsanto appears hellbent to take advantage of any opportunity to dump its patented products on desperate communities.
It is even more disturbing to witness the Obama Administration serving as a willing hand maiden for Monsanto as it bestows this cruel gift upon Haiti . What Haiti needs for its recovery is not more neocolonial charity that aggravates dependency, but genuine solidarity which respects indigenous knowledge and promotes native Creole seeds.
Monsanto already controls the seeds behind 80% of the corn and 95% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. and they would like to extend this biogenetic domination around the world. Family farmers are now demanding that the Justice Department take anti-trust action against Monsanto and other food giants who have come to control the U.S. food system. Consumers are also beginning to realize the dangers lurking within Monsanto’s biotech products and are increasingly rejecting them in the marketplace.
Family farmers in Haiti have every right to defend their food sovereignty by rejecting Monsanto’s donation of tainted seeds. In fact, given Monsanto’s sordid track record elsewhere, they are more than justified in their decision. Family Farm Defenders applauds this action and we hope this will serve as an example for other grassroots struggles around the world against the corporate takeover of the earth’s biodiversity.
contact: John E. Peck, executive director, Family Farm Defenders #608-260-0900