March 5th, 2015
This morning about 300 peasants organized by La Via Campesina occupied the meeting of the Brazil National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio), which was convening to discuss the release of three new varieties of transgenic plants in Brazil including genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. The meeting was interrupted and decisions were postponed. Earlier in the morning on Thursday, another 1,000 women of the Brazil Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) from the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais occupied the operations of FuturaGene Technology Brazil Ltda, a subsidiary of Suzano timber corporation, in the municipality of Itapetininga, in São Paulo.
The site occupied by women of the MST was in Itapetininga, where transgenic eucalyptus, known as H421 is being developed and tested. During the protest, the MST destroyed the seedlings of transgenic eucalyptus trees there. The action denounced the evils that a possible release of transgenic eucalyptus, which was to be voted on CTNBio today, could cause to the environment. According to Atiliana Brunetto, a member of the National MST, the historic decision of the Commission must respect the Brazilian legislation and the Biodiversity Convention to which Brazil is a signatory. Destroys Eucaliptus Seedlings The vast majority of its members are placed in favor of business interests of the large multinationals at the expense of environmental, social and public health consequences,” he says. For Brunetto all approved GMO means more pesticides in agriculture, since the packets always approved for marketing include a type of agricultural poison.
“Brazil is the largest consumer of world’s pesticides since 2009. A recent survey by the University of Brasilia found that, in the most optimistic case, 30% of the food consumed by Brazilians are unsafe to eat only contamination by pesticides account” said Brunetto.
In the case of eucalyptus, the application of transgenic release was made by pulp and paper company Suzano.
“If approved by the committee these GE faster growing eucalyptus will mature in only 4 years, as opposed to 6-7 years presently in non-GMO eucalyptus. The water consumption will increase 25 to 30 liters / day per eucalyptus planted that it currently uses. We are again calling attention to the danger of green deserts,” said Catiane Cinelli, a member of the Rural Women’s Movement.
More at Stop GE Trees