Tag Archives: soy plantations

Brazil: 1500 Indigenous Peoples occupy the Esplanade of Ministries

By John Ahni Schertow, 3 October, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Photo: http://mobilizacaonacionalindigena.wordpress.com

Photo: http://mobilizacaonacionalindigena.wordpress.com

Nearly 1,500 Indigenous Peoples from across Brazil on Wednesday occupied a central road in the federal capital Brasília known as the Esplanade of Ministries, paralyzing traffic in both directions.

A part of the National Indigenous Mobilization convened by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), the protesters are trying to stop a legislative assault that threatens to severely undermine or extinguish Indigenous rights in the country.

As examined in “Indigenous April 2013: Declaration Of Indigenous National Mobilization In Defense Of Indigenous Territories,” this legislative assault consists of several bills and decrees, including:

Proposed Amendments to the Constitution (PECs) numbers 038/99, 215/00 and 237/13, Bill 1610/96, the bill for Complementary Law (PLP) 227/12, and the Portarias (ministerial orders) 419/11 and 7957/13. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Brazil: Sign-on to demand territorial recognition, oppose monoculture plantations

Note: In the same way that Suzano and other corporations are looking to turn traditionally occupied territories in Brazil into bioenergy resource colonies for industry in the North, companies like ArborGen are moving forward with plans to plant millions of genetically engineered (GE) trees across the US southeast for bioenergy production.

US-based ArborGen is racing FuturaGene, a Suzano subsidiary, to commercialize the first GE eucalyptus trees, which would only magnify the social and ecological disaster of monoculture tree plantations.  Social movements and civil society networks are mobilizing to demand a ban on the release of GE trees — Please consider taking action by making a donation to support our work today.

Donate here: http://bit.ly/nogetrees

-The GJEP Team

20 September, 2013. Source: World Rainforest Movement

Photo: WRM

Photo: WRM

Throughout the month of September we will continue celebrating resistance to the advance of large-scale industrial tree plantations.

This action is being undertaken by our friends in Brazil, in the Bajo Parnaíbo region of the state of Maranhão. They have asked for our help to gather signatures for a letter that will be sent to the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) and the Colonization and Land Institute of the State of Maranhão to demand the recognition and land tenure regularization of the territories that they have traditionally occupied.

Large-scale industrial soy plantations and tree plantations geared to export for energy production in the North, established by the Suzano corporation, have occupied vast areas of their territory and caused the deforestation of the Cerrado, a biome that is essential for local communities and their traditional economies.

Also available in FrenchPortuguese and Spanish

To sign on to the letter, send a message to : 21sept@wrm.org.uy Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Corporations, investors grabbing land overseas

Note: More evidence that a switch to biofuels will lead to land grabbing, human rights violations and increased corporate control across the world.

-The GJEP Team

By Brian Bienkowski, February 12, 2013.  Source: Environmental Health News

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As a growing population stresses the world’s food and water supplies, corporations and investors in wealthy countries are buying up foreign farmland and the freshwater perks that come with it.

From Sudan to Indonesia, most of the land lies in poverty-stricken regions, so experts warn that this widespread purchasing could expand the gap between developed and developing countries.

Investors from seven countries – the United States, United Arab Emirates, India, United Kingdom, Egypt, China and Israel – accounted for 60 percent of the water acquired under these deals.The “water grabbing” by corporations amounts to 454 billion cubic meters per year globally, according to a new study by environmental scientists. That’s about 5 percent of the water the world uses annually.

Most purchasers are agricultural, biofuel and timber investors. Some of the more active buyers in the United States, which leads the pack in number of deals, include multinational investors Nile Trading and Development, BHP Billiton, Unitech and media magnate Ted Turner, according to the study published last month.
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Filed under Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, World Bank

Agribusiness as usual: The death of peasant farming

By Hugh Davies, October 31, 2012.  Source:  The Argentina Independent

On 10th October, Miguel Galván was murdered, stabbed to death in the doorway of his own home. Almost one year earlier, Cristian Ferreyra had been shot and killed in his house. Both men were peasant farmers from the northern province of Santiago del Estero and members of the National Peasant Movement of Santiago del Estero – Farmers’ Way (Mocase-VC) an organisation which fights for the land rights of peasants and indigenous people.

Protest at Congreso to call for justice against assassination of Miguel Galvan (Photo: Mocase-VC).

The reason for the men’s murders was that they refused to give up their land to multi-national soybean plantation companies. Whilst Galván’s attackers are yet to be identified, in Ferreyra’s case it is widely claimed that a large landowner from the area hired hitmen to remove him from his path.

In the six months after Ferreyra’s tragic death, incidents of conflict between large agribusiness and peasants decreased, but since then, the expansion of soy production has continued and so have the forced evictions of peasants and indigenous people from lands they have occupied for centuries.

Expansion of Soy and Agribusiness in Argentina 

In 1996, Carlos Menem’s government approved a law that granted farmers permission to cultivate transgenic soybeans in Argentina. The decision brought about a drastic and rapid change within the country’s agricultural sector. Argentina allowed for the cultivation of genetically modified soybeans without carrying out their own tests, instead using only those provided by the multinational agribusiness Monsanto.
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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression

Nanoparticles pose risk to food crops

By Jonathan Ball, August 21, 2012. Source: BBC News

Fields of soybean
Soybean plantation
A pair of widely used chemicals in the form of tiny “nanoparticles” have been shown to spread throughout a crop plant or affect growth and soil fertility.

The use of nanoparticles is increasing, yet their environmental impact is poorly understood.

report published in PNAS shows that nanoparticles present in exhaust gases and some fertilisers adversely affect soybean growth and surrounding soil.

The nanoparticles harmed bacteria that the plant relies on for growth.

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Filed under Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Industrial agriculture, Waste

Action Alert:‘Responsible’ Soy: misleading consumers

Cross-posted from Rainforest Rescue

Almost all non-organic meat, eggs and dairy sold in supermarkets comes from animals fed on genetically modified (GM) soy. That’s important for you to know, but it’s not on the label. Even worse, this soy will soon be called ‘responsible.’

The label has been developed by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). The RTRS consists mainly of companies that have a strong interest in expanding the soy industry. Members range from soy producers and grain dealers to the biotech, pesticide, animal feed and oil sectors. They include BP, Shell, Cargill, Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto. A few NGOs are also on board, notably the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The ‘responsible’ soy scheme will not reduce the massive pesticide use that poisons people and the environment in South America. It will not stop land conflicts. It will not even stop deforestation. It will definitely not reduce soy imports. But it will create a ‘green’ label for GM crops. For the first time, a genetically modified crop, designed to be sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides, will be labelled ‘responsible’.

That is why environmental and social organisations are writing to supermarkets and food companies, asking them not to mislead their customers. We – Friends of the Earth International, the Global Forest Coalition, Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue), European Coordination Via Campesina, Food and Water Europe and many others – strongly oppose the RTRS’s attempt to greenwash soy. We want to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported soy and call for radical changes in the way food is produced.

Please join us and tell the supermarkets that you don’t accept the RTRS’s misleading label. Sign the form and your message will be sent to supermarkets and food companies all over Europe. Please distribute this action and inform your friends as well. Thank you very much for your support.

For more information on the impacts of soy production, see http://www.toxicsoy.org

_____________________

Dear Sir or Madam:

This year a new label will be launched for so-called ‘responsible’ soy. However, the criteria proposed by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) do not guarantee any level of ‘responsibility’. Soy monocultures can still expand at the expense of forest and small farms; massive pesticide spraying will continue to poison people and the environment.

Irresponsible soy production in the South will continue
Soy for animal feed is grown in large monocultures in South America. Massive amounts of toxic pesticides are used on the mostly genetically modified (GM) crop. Local communities and their environment are poisoned, and children are especially vulnerable. To increase soy production, small farmers and indigenous people are pushed from their land and forests and valuable natural areas are destroyed. RTRS soy will not stop this and labels like Soja+ are even weaker. Many social and environmental organisations have voiced clear opposition to the ‘responsible’ label.

Irresponsible animal industry in the North will continue
Over 34 million tons of soy are imported into Europe each year. Most of it is used to feed animals in factory farms. These are highly polluting to water, soil and air and cause much animal suffering. Most of the industrially produced dairy, eggs and meat comes from animals fed with GM soy.

In fact, most people don’t even know that they indirectly consume GM products, because it is not on the label. Exploiting the natural resources of the South to enable an over-production of animal products in the North can never be responsible or sustainable. Instead, factory farming should be abandoned and animal feed should be locally produced.

Stop the greenwash
Labels on food are meant to inform people, not to confuse or mislead them. Soy monocultures are not responsible. The RTRS label could therefore be seen as label fraud. Don’t buy the greenwash message. Instead it would be better to inform consumers about what they are buying by introducing a ‘fed with GM soy’ label for meat and dairy products.

Click here to sign the letter and take action!

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