On the morning of Tuesday, March 21, around 200 members of Via Campesina, the Catholic Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) and environmental groups protested against the defeat of the moratorium that prohibits the cultivation and marketing of "terminator" seeds. Demonstrators gathered at the entrance of Expo Trade Park in Curitiba, Paraná, where the 8th Conference on Biological Diversity is being held, and addressed the dangers of suicide seeds for peasants and society at large. As conference delegates arrived by bus, they were greeted with hisses, boos and jeers. Cledecir Zucchi, a leader of the Small Farmer’s Movement (Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores, MPA) from Paraná, Brazil, stated that the protest serves to call attention to the harm caused by Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and especially the "terminator."
Known as the “suicide seed,” it germinates only one time, which requires farmers to purchase more seeds every year. This characteristic, along with the damages that GMOs cause to the environment and rural culture, could mean the end of small farming and biodiversity. "The ‘terminator" will break the solidarity among peasants, transforming seeds which are a source of life " into a commodity," Zucchi said. Zucchi also called attention to the rise of agricultural production costs, which would make family agriculture unviable. "With the terminator, peasants who now produce their own seeds will instead have to buy them every year. This is a price that the small producer will not be able to afford," he argued. Additional mobilizations by Via Campesina and environmental groups will take place during the week. The farmers are setting up a camp in Nilton Freire Park in order to monitor discussions at the conference. By the beginning of next week, the camp will swell from its current 200 peasants to over 5000 farmers from all over the world.
Igor Felippe Santos – Minga Infomativa