No Transgenic Eucalyptus (GMO trees) for Brazil, thanks to 300 farmers who took over the building and interrupted the meeting where GMO regulator – Brazil National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) – was to decide about whether or not to plant biotech’s latest atrocity. These efforts along with over 1000 other activists have halted GMO trees in Brazil – at least for now.
In addition to the sit-in of the 300 farmers, 1000 women across Brazil took over operations of FuturaGene.
Moreover, 1,000 women took over GE operations across Brazil. Their actions included the destruction of all GE sedelings. Approximately 1000 women also occupied the Suzano company, the parent corporation to GE tree company FuturaGene who plans to pollute the landscape with their transgenic trees.
The site being occupied in Itapetininga, Brazil, is where the transgenic eucalyptus, known as H421, is being developed and tested. The activist women and farmers intent was to denounce the problems that a possible release of transgenic eucalyptus could cause to the environment.
According to Atiliana Brunetto, a member of the National MST, the historic decisions of the Commission must respect the Brazilian legislation and the Biodiversity Convention to which Brazil is a signatory. She stated:
“The precautionary principle is always ignored by CTNBio. The vast majority of its members are placed in favor of business interests of the large multinationals at the expense of environmental, social and public health consequences.”
Rightly so, Brunetto points out that approval of GM trees means more pesticides among other problems for Brazil. She added:
“Brazil is the largest consumer of the world’s pesticides since 2009. A recent survey by the University of Brasilia found that, in the most optimistic case, 30% of the food consumed by Brazilians is unsafe to eat due to contamination by pesticides.”
Suzano, a paper and pulp company is hoping that GM trees will grow abundantly in Brazil. The trees mature in only 4 years, whereas, non-GM trees
take 6-7 years. The GM trees are expected to take 25 to 30 extra liters of water a day to grow, however.
Brazil isn’t taking the infiltration of biotech sitting down. The world supports you, Brazil!
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.