Brazil to vote on GM 'terminator seeds'
Overturn of global ban could make farmers dependent on Monsanto and Bayer
Under pressure from big commercial farms, the Brazilian parliament is about to hold a vote that will allow companies like Monsanto, Bayer, and others to start selling so-called ‘suicide seeds’ to farmers. These genetically-modified seeds are sterile so can only be used once, forcing small farmers into buying seeds from Monsanto or others over and over again.
The use of these seeds is essentially prohibited under a UN treaty on biodiversity which over 193 countries, including Brazil, have signed. But if Brazil overturns its own ban then this will have huge consequences. Poor, small farmers could be locked into a cycle of endless debt and dependency - and the rest of the world could be handing control of the global food supply to a handful of companies.
The parliamentary proposal has already been approved by some key committees and is now hurtling its way to a full parliament vote, which could happen in just a few weeks time.
If the ban is scrapped, huge commercial farms will be allowed to use super fast-growing GMO crops, damaging neighbouring farms through cross-fertilisation. Small farmers will have to use the same terminator seeds just to compete - tying them into buying seeds from the likes of Monsanto forever.
If Brazil, one of the biggest agricultural producers on the planet, allows these seeds to be used, it will spark a global domino effect, as country after country race to change laws in order to stay competitive. Brazil’s decision could set the stage for the global ban on terminator seeds to be overturned when the UN treaty is renewed this year.
Take action against these terminator seeds by signing the petition. There are only a few weeks before the vote takes place.
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