Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

By Beverly Bell
The Wip

In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP (Peasant Movement of Papay) and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”[1] Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready GMO seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMO.

Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto’s Director of Development Initiatives, called the news that the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved the donation “a fabulous Easter gift” in an April email.[2]  Monsanto is known for aggressively pushing seeds, especially GMO seeds, in both the global North and South, including through highly restrictive technology agreements with farmers who are not always made fully aware of what they are signing. According to interviews by this writer with representatives of Mexican small farmer organizations, they then find themselves forced to buy Monsanto seeds each year, under conditions they find onerous and at costs they sometimes cannot afford.

The hybrid corn seeds Monsanto has donated to Haiti are treated with the fungicide Maxim XO, and the calypso tomato seeds are treated with thiram.[3]  Thiram belongs to a highly toxic class of chemicals called ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs). Results of tests of EBDCs on mice and rats caused concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then ordered a special review. The EPA determined that EBDC-treated plants are so dangerous to agricultural workers that they must wear special protective clothing when handling them. Pesticides containing thiram must contain a special warning label, the EPA ruled. The EPA also barred marketing of the chemicals for many home garden products, because it assumes that most gardeners do not have adequately protective clothing.[4]  Monsanto’s passing mention of thiram to Ministry of Agriculture officials in an email contained no explanation of the dangers, nor any offer of special clothing or training for those who will be farming with the toxic seeds.

Read full post at The Wip

31 responses to “Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

  1. Congratulations to Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, for his opposition to Monsanto’s gift of seeds, thay are a gift that Haiti and other countries can do without.

    Once Monsanto has control of the food supply in any country, that is the end of safe food.

    Monsanto has still to accept its responsibility for the crime it, Dow Chemicals and others did to the people and land of Vietnam by the use of Agent Orange.

    Wish you all success in your campaign.

    Len Aldis. Secretary
    Britian-Vietnam Friendship Society
    http://www.lenaldis.co.uk

  2. I did leave a comment nearly two hours ago and it is not up yet. Any reason?

    Len

  3. Monsanto equals rapist. Nah, that’s too kind. Monsanto equals rapist carrying a deadly crippling sexually transmitted disease with a 100% transmission rate. Nah, that’s still too kind. Monsanto equals rapist carrying a deadly crippling sexually transmitted disease with a 100% transmission rate who is your employer and will fire you if you resist. Nah, that’s still too kind! Monsanto equals rapist carrying a deadly crippling sexually transmitted disease with a 100% transmission rate who is your employer and will fire you if you resist and who has already escaped maximum security prison, by bribing the guards after being locked up for doing this to hundreds of others, including infants and children.

    I don’t know about your problem with the comment Len, sometimes computers screw up. Hopefully it can get straightened out. I hate it when my comments are ‘waylaid’, it’s hard to say. Sometimes it’s over-zealous editing, an infringement of free speech, to be sure. But I’ve not had any problems with the comments I’ve posted here at this site…

  4. i love this article. thank you for sharing.

  5. thx for your comments, all.

    btw, comments get held up when they contain links. since I work during the day, I can’t always get to those ‘moderated’ comments as quickly as I’d like.

  6. Pingback: Food News Feed: May 28, 2010

  7. Pingback: Greenhoof » Blog Archive » Haitian Farmers Refuse Monsanto’s Seeds and Instead Commit to Burning Them

  8. Pingback: Sustainability Digest » Haitian Farmers Refuse Monsanto’s Seeds and Instead Commit to Burning Them

  9. Pingback: Haitian Farmers Refuse Monsanto’s Seeds and Instead Commit to Burning Them

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  15. Pingback: Why Monsanto’s Cure for Haiti May Be Worse Than the Disease | Eating Real Food

  16. Pingback: Haiti farmers protest against Monsanto hybrid seed « Bethanjohnwriter's Blog

  17. I have to give it to Monsanto they strike when you are desperate and down. When the farmers wake up from the crisis they will find another crisis on the horizon, joblessness. Once Monsanto controls the seed they control the food supply and we become slaves. It’s hard to believe they do it in an open way and so few of us take notice. It will be hard to tell what safe food is, in a few years the choice might be gone for good. It is a scary thought a corporation controlling humanities food supply. Great article I wish the farmers all the best.

  18. Great comment Ned Lud! :)

    This is a great article! Will be sharing!

    Thank-you,
    Cassie with Millions Against Monsanto – Indiana

  19. WHEN WILL THE WORLD STOP SCREWING WITH HAITI!!!!
    THE CRUELTY LEVELED ON THE SHORES OF THIS NATION IS THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF RACISM AND EXPERIMENTATION.

    THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!!

  20. thanks so much for this post…if we in this country had half the Courage of Ayitians…
    True…the whole world is watching.

  21. F*ckin¡¦ awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your post. Thanks so much and i am having a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  22. This is a No-Brainer. Non-GMO genetics are designed for yield, with no compromise for standability or drydown. Products are always carefully chosen to match trait rotation systems, IRM refuge areas, and premium markets. Thanks for your blog! Let the world know!

  23. Wonderful news! Hope this is the start of more Monsanto and evil agribusiness to come.

  24. So here is a question?….
    It is quite obvious MONSANTO is a dirty,evil playing company who is trying to take control of the world. How is it that the United States if America doesn’t get it?!?! Oh yeah. That’s because MONSANTO is a major contributor to BOTH political parties. Don’t believe me? Check it out. It only takes one voice to be heard. The rest will listen,investigate, and join for the better of all species.

  25. monsonto IS BOTH PARTIES.

  26. Reminds me of other gifts, Blankets intentionally infected with Smallpox and that free cruise.

  27. Why does anybody bother sending ANYTHING to that shithole?

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