Monsanto: Haiti's "New Earthquake"
"A new earthquake" is what Haitian peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be dumping 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds on Haiti, seeds doused with highly toxic fungicides such as thiram, known to be extremely dangerous to farm workers. Hybrid seeds, like GMO seeds (in contrast to Creole heirloom or organic seeds) require lots of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. In addition, if a small farmer tries to save hybrid seeds after harvest, hybrid seeds usually do not "breed true" or grow very well in the second season, forcing the now-indentured peasant to buy seeds from Monsanto or one of the other hybrid/GMO seed monopolies in perpetuity. Monsanto wanted initially to dump GMO seeds on Haiti, but even the corrupt Haitian government knew that this would spark a rebellion, so Monsanto cleverly decided to dump hybrid seeds instead. The Haitian small farmers organization has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.
Since gaining their independence from France more than 200 years ago in a bloody slave uprising, Haitian farmers have wisely protected their seeds and nurtured native crop varieties. They know that true food security is maintained by farmers who save, trade and breed indigenous seeds using traditional organic methods.
As Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP), wrote earlier this year, "We need to establish seed banks and have silos where we can store our Creole seeds. Local, organic seeds are the basis of food sovereignty. It's urgent that Haitians buy local seeds. ... What's the danger we face today? It's that food aid from USAID and others is getting dumped in the country."
Monsanto's seeds will be distributed by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) WINNER program. USAID is a tax-payer funded agency that promotes the United States' interests abroad. It is run by Dr. Rajiv Shah, an Obama appointee that the Organic Consumers Association opposed because of his work with the explicitly pro-GMO Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation works closely with Monsanto.
Please click here to contact President Obama and USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah today to tell them to support Haitian farmers' demands for sustainability and food security, not Monsanto's poison pill.
USAID and Monsanto's poison pill for Haiti is designed to the make the island nation into a slave colony once again, except this time they won't be slaves for France, but rather for Monsanto and corporate agribusiness. Join the Haitian people and the growing global movement of Millions Against Monsanto.
You can donate to the distribution of local, organic seeds within Haiti by clicking here.