Food Sovereignty and Sustainability

Dilma says "Brazil has to know that agroecology is possible"

dilmaOn March 20, President Dilma Rousseff attended the 12th Festival of the Agro-Ecological Rice Harvest in Integração Gaucha and Lanceiros Negros settlements, in Eldorado do Sul, in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre (RS).

At the time, the president praised the new structure of the drying and rice storage unit with a capacity of 80 million bags belonging to COOPTAP, the Cooperative Workers in Settlements in the Region of Porto Alegre.

Seven Sins of Agribusiness

Whoever thinksagrotoxicos mata of agribusiness and imagines large estates producing food for Brazil’s refrigerators is gravely mistaken. What the television doesn’t tell us is that agribusiness is a form of agricultural production in which food isn’t actually produced. It doesn’t tell us that agribusiness depends on large amounts of agritoxins, and that what is produced is, in the end, exported abroad – even if public resources are used. Even worse, most land is in the hands of foreign businesses and international banks. Check out below what the real consequences of agribusiness are.

The soils are poisoned

Thanks to agribusiness, Brazil has been the world’s largest consumer of agritoxins since 2009. According to official figures more than a billion litres of poison have been thrown onto crops. These agritoxins

Agroecology and Agribusiness: Monsanto's War on Agriculture

On May 25, 2013 over two million people marched and protested against agribusiness giant Monsanto.  See coverage from USA Today, Huffington Post and a roundup of articles on the Occupy Monsanto website.  The MST has long decried the unsustainable agricultural model that Monsanto has developed for profit – including the use of GMO seeds and a reliance on a flood of agro-toxins.

We include an article on how the Brazilian government is seemingly organizing for organic production, when in reality it is only support for agribusiness.  We also include two articles on Monsanto’s war on health, GMO labeling and its attempt to control the world’s food.

Protest Against Monsanto

 “Agroecology Will Have A National Plan and Create A New Milestone for the Country” from Carta Maior.

From CounterPunch magazine:

 “Monsanto’s Dirty War: Why Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime

 “Monsanto Seeks to Control World’s Food: It's Not Science Fiction Anymore

Seventeen years after the massacre, the attack on land reform continues

drawing of massacreSeventeen years have passed since that fateful April 17. On that day in 1996, a march of rural workers organized by the MST was blockaded and attacked by military police in the city of Eldorado dos Carajás, Pará state. 19 people were killed on the spot and 2 others died days afterwards. The day of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre has officially become the National Day of Struggle for Land Reform.

Three Recent Interview on the State of Agrarian Reform

The Friends of the MST has translated three recent interviews with MST leaders on the state of agrarian reform in the face of the intrangience of the Brazilian government and the onslaught of international capital and agri-business.

João Pedro Stédile, a founder and coordinator of the MST estimates that the current moment is an ebb of the popular movement.First, an interview with João Pedro Stédile with ABCD Maior. Read the full interview here.Joao Pedro Stedile

marina dos SantosIn an interview, Marina dos Santos, a member of the MST's National Coordination, discuss how Agrarian Reform came to a stop in 2012 and there were few investments by the government in production, in family farmers and in the settlements. Agrarian Reform is paralyzed because of the development model in question in Brazil today, agribusiness.¨ This is the Gilmar Mauroanalysis of Marina dos Santos, of the National Coordination of the MST. Read the interview here.

According to Gilmar Mauro, a member of the MST national leadership, “We are facing this very big offensive by the court in relation to the settlement areas. The Brazilian state, agribusiness, the state and federal governments are working together to prevent the advance of agrarian reform.” Read the interview here.

Sign the Petition Against the Appointment of Katia Abreu to the Cabinet of [President] Dilma [Rousseff]

The Brazil Rainforest Movement launched an internet petition against the appointment of Senator Katia Abreu (PSD - TO) for the Katie Abreuagriculture ministry of President Dilma Rousseff.

"The appointment of Katia Abreu would represent another step toward the interests of landowners and multinational agribusiness. If this action is confirmed it would be construed by us as a sign of definitive break of the federal government with sustainable development," says the petition.

Click here to sign the petition *

Meeting of Friends of the MST Reinforces the Importance of Agrarian Reform

By José Coutinho JuniorMeeting of Friends of the MST

More than 200 people from various social movements, political parties and NGOs gathered this past Sunday (12/9), at the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF) for the Meeting of Friends and Friends of the MST. João Pedro Stedile, MST leader, began the meeting with an analysis of the forces acting on the class struggle of the Brazilian society and how this is reflected in the countryside.

"What we face today in agriculture is no longer the backward landowner, now, when we fight for land it is necessary to face the entire capitalist system, represented mainly by finance capital and the bourgeoisie, to see that they do not have total hegemony in government clinging together with the judiciary and the media."

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