December 3, 2001
Reference: RAFAEL MARIANO, National Chairperson
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas threw in another bomb at Monsanto's door when it announced today that it will gather 1 million signatures to put an end to the on-going field testing of Bt Corn by the agrochemical giant.
At the launching of the International Alliance Against Agrochemical Transnational Corporations (IAAATNCs) today, the militant peasant group again lashed out at agrochemical transnational corporations like Monsanto for their ploys to intensify their monopoly and control over Philippine agriculture.
"Monsanto and these agrochemical transnational ‘gene giants’ justify genetically-engineering seeds and other products as their solution to a world allegedly going hungry. What they don't know is that farmers all over the world knew from the start that their monopoly over seeds and other agricultural products contribute to the poverty they are experiencing. The real causes of hunger are poverty, inequality and lack of land and food. Too many people are too poor to buy food. Now they want us to eat genetically-engineered food when we all know that their products are as nauseating as the crops they grow. " Mariano stated.
KMP announced the launching of a 1 million signature campaign to put an end to the on-going field testing of Bt Corn, BB Rice and to reiterate their disapproval over the Plant Variety Protection bill. Recently, BAYAN MUNA Representatives Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza and Crispin Beltran filed a bill to stop the field testings and a halt in the entry of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country.
Reiterating their stand that they are not anti-science nor anti-technology, KMP added that new developments in genetic engineering will give rise to further monopolization of the business. Many of these developments they say are explicitly aimed at increasing farmers' dependency on seeds and other farm inputs.
"These agrochemical TNCs only care about the profits they will earn. Despite the effects of agrochemicals on the people's health, livelihood, and the environment, they continue poisoning our food and lands. Their monopoly position will ensure that there is no escape. While their crops are hooked on expensive chemicals, farmers will be forced into addiction to credit - at the expense of their freedom and the survival of their families. This kind of monopoly control goes hand in hand as imperialist globalization sweeps havoc over the lives of poor peasants all over the world." Mariano added.
"What the country needs is genuine national industrialization which can only be achieved through genuine agrarian reform - free from exploitation and foreign monopoly control that has tied us into hundreds of years of feudal bondage. What these modern biotech and agrochemical transnational companies are doing is a clear violation of our right for land and food without poisons. " Mariano concluded.
The KMP, together with 25 organizations and individuals, both local and international, launched the International Alliance Against Agrochemical Transnational Companies (IAAATNCs) today. The alliance aims to reduce, with the aim to eliminate the power of TNCs and challenge and confront agrochem TNCs and related agrochem industries on such issues as pesticides, GMOs, food security and right to land. International delegates will be staying in the country for the week-long launching activity of the alliance which will culminate on December 10 as they join other sectors in the International Human Rights Day rally, carrying the theme: RIGHT TO LAND AND FOOD WITHOUT POISONS!"
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Peasant Movement of the Philippines