We, the Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty and all our members and networks, are one with the Stop Golden Rice Network in claiming this day – August 8 – as the Global Day of Action against Golden Rice. As an international rural peoples’ movement committed to assert the peoples’ right to food, we reiterate our utter disgust and condemnation to Syngenta-ChemChina’s efforts to pose their Golden Rice project as a “humanitarian service” to cloak their corporate agenda of further cornering seed markets and profiteering from farmers through it.
Touted as the solution to Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in developing countries, Golden Rice patent owner Syngenta – now owned by ChemChina – has been funding field trials in Bangladesh and Philippines. Farmer groups from both countries, however, have taken the streets and uprooted the crops in response. International green and rural groups have also expressed opposition to the Golden Rice initiative as its health and environmental risks were not properly measured.
We are alarmed by these approvals as they set the stage for the commercial production and distribution of Golden Rice in Asia, particularly in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines where rice is a staple food. We continue to challenge the false claim that Golden Rice, genetically-engineered to produce beta carotene, will help address the high incidence of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in these rice-producing and consuming countries.
The Kisan Long March serves as a noteworthy example to many farmers around the world in the collective assertion of people’s food sovereignty. Such people-based reforms on food production systems and agriculture – an effective loan waiver program, compensation to recover from natural disaster-related losses, restoration of tribal people’s rights over forest lands, and the end of all corporate grabbing of farmers’ lands, among others – are very possible to be won as long as we strive for the strengthened unity and empowerment of our social movement.
The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) condemns the Israeli government and giant agrochemical corporations […]