woensdag, 02 november 2005 17:51
-- link to FOEI movie: "The Agrofuel Myth" (spring 2009) --
Because of the increasing production of soy in South America millions of hectares of rainforest and savanna are being destroyed. For this reason WWF started a campaign for sustainable soy production. The disappearance of forest and savanna is definitely a big disaster, but in the WWF initiative, many crucial issues are being ignored or put aside:
- genetic engineered organisms: 90% of the soy production in Argentina is GM, genetically modified. Brazil's crops are also contaminated by GMO's and now with the recent release of GM soy in Brazil the Roundup Ready (RR) soy will be massively planted by soy producers.
- pesticides:The rural population is suffering from contamination caused by the intense use of glyphosphate, endosulphan and other pesticides, a consequence of this mono-culture with this pesticide resistance crop. "The spread of GE crops in Argentina has undermined the resilience and capacity of people to look after themselves when the state fails." (from Record Harvest - Record Hunger, Greenpeace, 2002)
- poverty: The application of the industrial soy monoculture is causing rural desertification and poverty because of its decrease in labour needs. Many peasants and former farmers move to the slums of the big cities.
- health: The health problems have exponentially increased amongst the poor due to aid programmes that provide cheap GM soy as basic food for the marginalised and poor people. Not only a cynical joke, but it this finite diet courses malnutrition problems and other illnesses related to this big biotech experiment.
- agriculture: The soy monoculture causes and increases more environmental problems; plagues, soil erosion, loss of agriculture diversity and destruction of regional economies. The people in Argentina and the other involved countries always had a diverse agriculture and diet. Now they loose their food sovereignty and get dependent on imports.
- agriculture in the west: The massive import of proteins to feed the animals also keeps the western agriculture too dependent. Everyone can see that there will come an end to this neo-colonial and energy consuming system.
- debts: Argentina and Brazil are pushed by the World Bank, IMF and foreign countries to grow cash crops like soy to pay back their debts. But why should the normal people and the environment have to suffer for the debt that has been created by dictatorships and the rich elite? Like many NGOs we say the debt should be cancelled.
- gowth of world trade. Transporting all the fodder to Europe and Asia needs too much energy and contributes to climate change. An alternative is more production for the own population, in Latin America, but in Europe and in Asia as well.
- meat production: The production of more fodder and meat is the core of the problem. To feed the growing world population farmers should produce beans, grains and vegetables for human consumption. The production of meat is too inefficient. This move isn't easy to achieve, but necessary. And better for the animals in the bio-industry as well.