Written Paper

Latin America: the downside of the GM revolution  [2007]

C. Ruiz-Marrero

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The author argues that nowhere in the world have the effects of GM crops been felt as intensely as in South America. Although the soy boom is lauded as a success story by landowners, agribusiness, biotechnology corporations, and South American governments, the articleclaims this has come at an enormous environmental and social cost. The authors discuss efforts made by small-scale farmers to counter these negative impacts though initiatives such as: protests against a conference organised in Brazil by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which sought not to counter the expansion of soy but to establish sustainability criteria for increased production<br /> protests against so-called terminator seeds in the city of Curitiba, southern Brazil where over 300 organisations declared their support for a global ban on Terminator technology, asserting that sterile seeds threaten biodiversity and will destroy the livelihoods and cultures of the1.4 billion people who depend on farm-saved seed<br /> the MST and the Via Campesina Seed Campaign which develops and distributes diverse GM-free seeds and runs community seed banks to preserve agricultural biodiversity and keep germplasm out of the hands of agribusiness corporations.