The ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotechnological Applications) has just published its annual report (see here) in which it confirms that the Southern Cone of Latin America is the region where the most transgenics are produced and with the largest cultivated area with a single monoculture (more than 54 million hectares of transgenic soy in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Bolivia) around the world.
What the ISAAA does not report, because it is a simple propaganda agent for large biotechnology corporations, is about the impacts that this model, implemented 21 years ago and which today is producing its 20th harvest, has had throughout the region and in the world.
GRAIN, together with hundreds of organizations, has been denouncing its socio-environmental consequences since before the installation of this industrial agriculture model.
Just when the 20th harvest of glyphosate-resistant transgenic soy is taking place in the entire Southern Cone (approximately 175 million tons), we share in this poster 20 arguments for its definitive eradication.
1- Its approval in Argentina was absolutely illegitimate, being authorized by a body (CONABIA, National Advisory Commission for Agricultural Biotechnology) made up of the same corporations. At the same time, its expansion throughout the Southern Cone was intentionally illegal without at any time generating a democratic debate about its authorization and cultivation. Its imposition in Brazil and Paraguay came from the expansion of massive illegal crops.
2- Its imposition meant the creation of a green desert of more than 54 million hectares that at some point the same multinationals baptized as The United Republic of Soy.
3- With the introduction of transgenic soybeans, the use of glyphosate (recently reclassified as probably carcinogenic by the World Health Organization) in the region grew to more than 550 million liters per year with dramatic health consequences in all territories.
4- Millions of peasants were displaced throughout the region and thousands of small producers had to abandon local food production due to the impossibility of living with transgenic soybeans.
5- Hundreds of peasants were criminalized, persecuted and murdered in their struggle for land as a result of the expansion of the soybean model in attempts to resist its advance.
6- Millions of hectares of native forest were destroyed throughout the Southern Cone due to the advance of the agricultural frontier.
7- Monsanto promoted and is promoting modifications to seed laws in all countries in order to control and monopolize seeds. In Argentina, for almost 15 years, it has been carrying out a strong political lobby to achieve the modification of the current law and to be able to collect royalties from each producer who saves seeds for the following year.
8- Diseases and deaths due to the increase in the use of pesticides multiplied in all territories, awakening strong reactions from the “fumigated peoples”.
9- The governments that tried to limit the advance of soybeans and transgenic crops were hacked, being Paraguay a paradigmatic case in that sense.
10- The soils have been depleted by this extractive agriculture producing their destruction and an unprecedented loss of nutrients.
11- Land has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the case of Paraguay being once again exemplary since 0.4% of the owners monopolize 56% of the land.
12- Livestock, previously practiced in rotation with agriculture, was displaced to other territories with much more fragile ecosystems (Amazonia, Paraguayan Chaco, wetlands, etc.) with very serious consequences on them.
13- An alliance was consolidated between the corporate groups that promoted this model and the concentrated mass media that prevents any type of debate or dissemination of the impacts of the model.
14- Herbicide resistant crops have failed from the agronomic point of view with the emergence of dozens of glyphosate resistant weeds and the consequent growth of its use and that of other herbicides.
15- The science that supports the development of transgenic crops is deeply questioned due to its mechanism and simplification of the complexity of genomic systems.
16- The productivity of transgenic soybean crops are lower than those of conventional soybean crops, as verified in all the investigations that carried out comparative studies.
17- The safety of transgenic soybeans in food has never been demonstrated and the doubts that arise from studies biased by corporate interests still persist, making it increasingly difficult to sustain the fallacy of “substantial equivalence”.
18- The massive production of transgenic soybeans has driven an expansion of meat production industrially with serious environmental, health, climate and health impacts at a global level.
19 - Transgenic soy has been imposed for consumption by hundreds of millions of consumers around the world without their consent through its use in the production of ultra-processed foods.
20- The entire transgenic soy production chain has a huge impact on the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the worsening of the climate crisis.
Today we share the poster 20 years of transgenic soy in the Southern Cone - 20 reasons for its definitive ban, in which we synthesize the 20 reasons why this agricultural model should be immediately abandoned, as well as the dependence on the corporations that promote it, to recover agricultural systems to feed the peoples from agroecological production and the path of food sovereignty.
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