December 4, 2001
Reference: RAFAEL MARIANO, National Chairperson
In a protest rally today in Makati, members of the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas together with members of the International Alliance Against Agrochemical Transnational Corporations (IAAATNCs) issued a closure order on Monsanto as a symbolic protest against the on-going Bt corn field testing being undergone by the agrochem giant. The closure order was issued after Monsanto together with other agrochemical TNCs were found guilty of the following crimes: genocide, plunder of environmental resources, devastation of the environment and destruction of productive forces.
"The farmers are outraged by how greed-driven these agrochem transnational corporations are. The monopoly of these agrochem giants over seeds, pesticides, and other agricultural products are driving us further into poverty, hunger and exploitation." Rafael Mariano, KMP chairperson said.
The symbolic closure of Monsanto coincides with simultaneous protest actions in Bicol, Isabela and Bukidnon where Bt corn field testing are currently being conducted in these provinces. Monsanto has won the ire of millions of farmers in the country after it started conducting field testing of genetically-engineered Bt corn without holding any public consultations in affected areas and despite the approval of board resolutions and issuance of moratoria banning field testing in some of these provinces.
"Despite its negative effects on people's health, the environment and livelihood, Monsanto continue to reap profits from the people's sweat and blood aside from the fact that these moves are threatening the country's food security and food self-sufficiency. We don't need their lab-grown food and products. We demand our right to land and food without poisons!" Mariano added.
The protest action is part of the week-long activity of the IAAATNCs which will culminate when the members and delegates, both local and foreign, will join the national protest on December 10 for the International Human Rights Day.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Peasant Movement of the Philippines
A reminder from ngin of how Monsanto operates in the Philippines:
Monsanto to step up security measures at Philippine Bt farm - Asia Pulse November 23, 2001
SANTOS CITY, Nov 23: A stricter security measure would be put in place by a multi-national seed firm here when it undertakes another field trial of the controversial Bacillus Thuringensis (Bt) corn... The trial farm would be located on a half-hectare lot which will be sealed off using double eight-foot walls using plain iron sheets and barbed wires at five meters apart. A more secured trial farm is being set up, Parreno said, to prevent what had happened to a Bt trial farm in Tampakan, South Cotabato, which was destroyed by members of militant groups in August, this year. Paraiso barangay chair Sergio Morales assured that the Tampakan incident would not be repeated in the trial farm in his barangay. Aside from the high walls, a watchtower and guard-houses would be built in the four corners of the trial farm. Morales said Monsanto would employ barangay residents as security guards of the trial farm backed by a civilian volunteers' organization. (PNA)