El Salvador says no to Monsanto

protuberancia - corn fields

Uh oh. I predict the World Bank and the IMF are going to have to stage an intervention — or maybe even a coup!

From studies indicating their glyphosate-containing herbicide to be linked with a list of degenerative health concerns, to Dr. Oz being smear-campaigned by the big agriculture company, it’s very clear that there is a food feud going on in the world.

But if one delves deeper into the claims of activists and compares research being presented by Big-Ag companies and opposing campaigns, they, too, may come to the same conclusion countries like El Salvador have: that they – and the world – would be better off without biotech companies’ influence.

In fact, having come to this conclusion, the country of El Salvador is booting companies like Monsanto from meddling in its growing methods. Growers in this country know the importance of producing their own seeds, as well as the necessity to avoid those produced by bioengineering giants. In effect, they’ve successfully defied Monsanto by preventing it from supplying El Salvador with it seeds.

Said Juan Luna Vides, the director of diversified production for the Mangrove Association, a nongovernmental organization that was created to support a grassroots social movement for environmental conservation in El Salvador:

“Remember that Monsanto is together with DuPont, Pioneer, all the large businesses that control the world’s seed market. Unfortunately, many of the governments in Latin America, or perhaps the world, have beneficiary relationships with these companies.”

The Ministry of Agriculture recently released a new round of contracts to provide seed to subsistence farmers across the country.

As shared by Truth-Out, many farmers see the importance of keeping their seed supply local. Small-scale seed producer, Santos Cayetan, even commented that “We are losing the traditions of local seed, so we are trying to maintain it here. Native seeds don’t have what these other seeds have that come with the chemicals, based in chemicals.”

Cayetan, who is a recipient of corn seed from the government program that uses local, GMO-free seeds and also works to grow native corn, said that the difference between using local seed versus Monsanto’s is quite amazing.

“[Native seeds are] always the same, they always produce, and they’re always there,” he said. “[Native seeds] are drought resistant.”

3 thoughts on “El Salvador says no to Monsanto

  1. oh don’t worry, Monsanto will just come and casually fly an airplane over the country, drop their seeds everywhere then sue everyone for growing their corn then take all the land

  2. There’s another layer of important in El Salvador’s action, in addition to standing up to Big Ag.

    I’m guessing a large share of the seeds mentioned are corn. Central America and Mexico are centers of diversity for corn. The genetic diversity there is what allows breeders to select for drought resistance or cool weather tolerance or whatever. Once the diversity is lost, there’s no way to get it back. And guess what happens when most farmers get roped into growing Monsanto’s patented and totally uniform corn? It’s a biological disaster.

    So El Salvador is helping prevent more than just another case of Big Ag.

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