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Protest Monsanto in Haiti

Supporters of Haitian peasants will burn hybrid seeds and plant heirloom seeds at a community garden in Woodlawn tonight to support a similar action in Haiti protesting a shipment of Monsanto seeds by US AID.

It’s sponsored by Rising in Solidarity with Ayiti and takes place at the new Woodlawn Community Garden, 65th and Woodlawn, tonight (Friday, June 4) starting at 6:30 p.m.

The event will feature spoken word artists, reports from Haiti, and speakouts about food security and access to fresh produce on the South Side.

According to reports, the Peasant Movement of Papay will burn Monsanto seed at a march in Haiti today, World Environment Day, to protest the seed shipment.

Monsanto’s hybrid corn doesn’t produce usable seed the way traditional varieties do, thus potentially “forcing the now-indentured peasant to buy seeds from Monsanto or one of the other hybrid/GMO seed monopolies in perpetuity….

“Since gaining their independence from France more than 200 years ago in a bloody slave uprising, Haitian farmers have wisely protected their seeds and nurtured native crop varieties,” writes Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association at Huffington Post. “They know that true food security is maintained by farmers who save, trade and breed indigenous seeds using traditional organic methods.”

The Monsanto seed requires intensive water, pesticides and herbicides. And it’s treated with a toxic fungicide, which the US EPA has banned for the home garden market.  The EPA requires farmworkers handling fungicide-treated seed in the U.S. to wear protective clothing.

Via Campesina, a worldwide federation of farmer organizations, has called Monsanto “a principal enemy of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty.”

According to Cummins, food justice activists opposed President Obama’s appointment of Rajiv Shah to head US AID due to his work promoting GMOs with the Gates Foundation, which works closely with Monsanto.

In the event of rain the program will take place in the Backstory Cafe at the Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone.

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Category: food, international, Woodlawn

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