Haiti's New Earthquake: USAID Delivers Monsanto's Poison Pills
Take Action in Solidarity with Haitian Farmers Who Vow to Burn Monsanto's Seeds
Monsanto will be giving Haiti 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. Hybrid seeds have to be purchased and planted every year.
Monsanto's seeds will be distributed by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) WINNER program. USAID is a tax-payer funded agency that promotes the United States' interests abroad. It is run by Dr. Rajiv Shah, an Obama appointee that the Organic Consumers Association opposed because of his work with the explicitly pro-GMO Gates Foundation, a frequent Monsanto collaborator.
Haitian peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called Monsanto's poison pills Haiti's “new earthquake.” The MPP vowed to burn Monsanto’s seeds and called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day. Roughly 10,000 peasants gathered for a massive march in Central Haiti.
Like other US efforts to deprive Haiti of food security, dumping Monsanto’s seeds on Haiti's farmers will seriously undermine Haitian farmers’ independence, force an industrialized agriculture model on the impoverished nation and seriously threaten public health in the country.
Haiti’s farmers need support and solidarity to rebuild their local food and farming economy, not profit-driven industrial agriculture and hybrid seeds. Since independence more than 200 years ago, Haitian farmers have protected their seeds. They know that true food security is maintained by the farmers who save, trade and breed indigenous seeds using traditional methods.
As Jean-Baptiste said earlier this year, "We need to establish seed banks and have silos where we can store our Creole seeds. Local, organic seeds are the basis of food sovereignty. … It’s urgent that Haitians buy local seeds. ... What's the danger we face today? It’s that food aid from USAID and others is getting dumped in the country."
Please use the form below to contact President Obama and USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah today to tell them to support Haitian farmers' demands for sustainability and food security, not Monsanto's poison pills.