La Vía Campesina says no to the Legalization of Death

2006-03-24 00:00:00

(Curitiba, March 21, 2006) The international peasant movement reaffirmed that natural resources (seeds, land, water, forests and others) are life itself and are the patrimony of humanity. They must be at the service and under the care of the communities that venerate, protect, use and improve them.

The neoliberal model commodifies and monopolizes the natural wealth with technologies and legal instruments like the system of intellectual property rights. This economic and ideological model denies the knowledge and culture of our ancestors and farmers, which are the bases of humanity’s food supply since women initiated the practice of agriculture thousands of years ago.

The "modernization" of agriculture, since the "Green Revolution", with pesticides, biotechnology, monocultures, GMO’s, nano and terminator technology, is destroying the rural world, the environment, forcing out millions of farming families and generating an industrial food production that far from eliminating hunger it is deepening it.

In this system, terminator technology, which prevents farmers to conserve their seeds and forces them to buy new seeds for each sowing, is an immoral and unacceptable technology. It creates seeds of murder for farmers and only benefits the agro-chemical corporations like Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont.

La Vía Campesina’s denounces that in this 8th Conference on the Parts of the Biological Diversity Agreement (BDA-8), there is a proposal promoted by the U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand and Australia to undermine the moratorium that exists in the Convention on Biological Diversity against field testing and the commercialization of terminator seeds.

La Vía Campesina denounces the collaboration between many of the underdeveloped nations’ governments with the industrial countries to impose this model, legalizing it through diverse international legal instruments and national legislations.

Thousands of peasant women and men of La Vía Campesina have come to Curitiba to make our voice heard against the COP-8.

We demand that the absolute prohibition of GMO’s in agriculture, as well as other technologies controlled by transnational corporations. We are against patents on life and demand that all governments of the world prohibit terminator technology.

We propose Food Sovereignty which feeds life itself and establishes the right of people to decide - on the basis of their knowledge and cultures - how they want to feed themselves, how they want to produce their food and how they want to share it. It is the producers and the rural communities - and not private capital - that has the full rights to the access, use and control of the land, seeds and the natural resources so that they can continue to serve humanity.

La Vía Campesina ratifies the right of people to feed themselves with nutritious and healthy products, without any type of political, economic or military repression. The fundamental principle that life cannot be privatized is sustained.

We demanded the total respect of our right to continue reproducing, taking care of, curing and preserving seeds in order to continue providing the base, not only of our subsistence, but also of the agricultural diversity, on which the food supply of the world depends.

Our movement, which unites millions of peasant women and men around the world will continue its emphatic opposition to the privatization of life and will continue developing an agriculture that is respectful of the values, the cultures and the necessities of human communities.