Nonprofit Newswire | Seeds of Dissent in Haiti

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June 7, 2010; Source: Food Safety News | NPQ has been following a number of stories about donation give-backs in the last six months. Many of these returned donations are from corporations whose work in some way runs counter to the mission of the grantee organization. In this case, the “giveback” comes from a group of Haitian farmers named “The Peasant Movement of Papay.”

The donation in question is 475 lbs of hybrid or genetically altered seeds. The leader of the group, Chavannes Jean Baptist, said the donation could cause a “new earthquake” in that the group sees it, according to a letter sent on May14th, as an attack on “agriculture, on small farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds . . . and on what is left of our environment in Haiti.”

Besides the fact that the seeds have reportedly been genetically altered, according to this article, Monsanto is also known for aggressive tactics which try to set up exclusive longstanding contracts with farmers, and the use of pesticides, which require that farmers wear protective clothing. The Peasant Movement has committed to burning the seeds.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Erik Ferry

    I applaud this group of Haitian farmers who — with precious little to work with and a big incentive to take whatever they can get — nevertheless see where “donations” from a ‘vertically-integrated’ agribusiness behemoth of Monstanto’s singular reputation will lead from the start.