Statement in Favor of Food Sovereignty

Let’s March In Favor of Water, Land and Seeds, Chile, 22 April 2013

In support of the National Mobilization for Water Recovery: April 22

Wednesday 3 April 2013

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

Caller: Campaign I DO NOT want Transgenic products.

Canal: Periodismo Sanador.

Place: Chile.

Date: 22 April 2013.

Type: Demonstrations.

Language: Spanish.

Category: Environment.

Keywords: Agro-ecology, Water, Peasantry, Capitalism, Environmental conflicts, Indigenous peoples, Food sovereignty, Territory, Land,, water and other natural resources.

Countries and Regions: Chile, Latin America.

Description: Support statement to the National Demonstration for Water Recovery.

The Campaign I Do Not Want Transgenic in Chile adheres itself to the call for April 22, the national demonstration for water recovery. The collectives, organizations and participating people in the Campaign I Do Not Want Transgenic are all aware that our final aim is “Food Sovereignty” and Good Living. Food sovereignty requires peasants, seeds and also water available for the common good. Our struggle against transgenic and against the pesticides which are always used on this type of crops is part and parcel of the struggle for a new agricultural, economic and political model. Our struggle is against transgenic and against pesticides and for the recovery of ancestral seeds and the old practices of the people. That is why we are adding our voice and we are inviting you to join on April 22 to the National Demonstration for Water Recovery.

We are defending the peasant seed, as a patrimony of peasant and indigenous peoples and the vertebral spine for food sovereignty. Those holding power want to privatize peasant seeds, bringing them into patents through a “registry”, just as they privatize water through the Water Code. For example, under the present registry for vegetable obtainment, there is a variety of Quinoa (la Regalona BAER) on behalf of the BAER seed company, owned by Erik Von Baer and his daughter Ena Von Baer, at present a designated senator. There is an international covenant called UPOV that allows the so called vegetable obtainers (either companies or private persons) to register on his/her ownership variety of seeds which have been manipulated at a laboratory, and consider them as new ones, stable and homogenous. We want to stress that in December 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a proposal presented by the Multinational State of Bolivia declaring 2013 as the “International Year of Quinua” due to the exceptional nutritional qualities it has, its adaptability and its contribution against famine and malnutrition. In Bolivia as well as in other countries in the Americas and from the rest of the world this crop is increasing and it is presented as a basic crop to attain food sovereignty and a really healthy food. At pre Columbus time, in the present territory of Chile, different varieties of Quinua were cropped ((“dahue” in Mapudungun) and at present it is cultivated in the northern part, at VI, VII and even in the region of Aysén. Quinua is an important element, everywhere, in the feeding process of a family, for local trade and to feed domestic animals. That is to say for “Food Sovereignty”.

The regirstry of obtainers in Chile is managed by the Agricultural and Cattle Raising Service (SAG) according to the acting UPOV covenant of the year 1978, signed by Chile in 1994. In this manner agricultural worker using registered varieties must pay the owners of that given seed. A mucho more strict version of this covenant, UPOV91, is adopted by the congress but is not yet implemented since the La won Vegetable Obtainers is frozen in the Senate due to the social rejection created by the privatization process of seeds. For those companies linked to transgenic products grouped in Chile BIO and ANPROS, it is very important to attain the final approval of UPOV 91 as well as of the draft law on bio-safety allowing for the expansion of transgenic crops into the local market. To say that in simple words, UPOV91 increases the profitability of seed producing companies, especially transnational ones such as: Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow Agrosciences and Syngenta.

Agricultural capitalism, at present materialized in the imposed agro-industrial model requires of UPOV91, of the total privatization of seeds and of the water in order to mek their business more profitable. At present companies are exerting pressure on the Senate and their lobbyists are negotiating to speed up the approval of the law on Vegetable Obtainers and the draft on bio-security. But they have met with the resistance presented by different social actors and with the passing of every day more people are aware and active regarding the defense of life, that is to say, of land, water and seeds.

In 1980 came into force the Water Code allowing the obtainment process of profits from water and it set the basis for present socio-environmental conflicts around water. These conflicts will not be solve with the opening of new wells or with a “highway of water” as Piñera is suggesting. Structural conflicts demand structural solutions, that is to say, a “New Constitution” and“New Code on Water” as minimal. But we should be ready for this.

Taking into considerations all reasons described here we add our voice and we invite you to join on April 22 at the National Demonstration for Water Recovery.

“We are struggling to recover seeds, water and our freedom”

See online : Campaing I do not want Transgenic

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