Under pressure from big commercial farms, the Brazilian parliament is about to hold a vote that will allow companies like Monsanto, Bayer, and others to start selling so-called ‘suicide seeds’ to farmers. The genetically modified seeds can only be used once, forcing small farmers into buying seeds from Monsanto or others over and over again -- literally forever.
The use of these seeds is essentially prohibited under a UN treaty on biodiversity which over 193 countries, including Brazil, have signed. But if Brazil overturns its own ban then this will have huge consequences. Poor, small farmers could be locked into a cycle of endless debt and dependency -- and the rest of the world could be handing control of the global food supply to a handful of companies. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
The parliamentary proposal has already been approved by some key committees and is now hurtling its way to a full parliament vote, which could happen in just a few weeks time -- meaning we don’t have long to stop this proposal.
Sign this petition to Brazilian lawmakers urging them to reject any attempt to overturn the ban on terminator seeds.
If the ban is scrapped, huge commercial farms will be allowed to use super fast-growing GMO crops, damaging neighbouring farms through cross-fertilisation. Small farmers will have to use the same terminator seeds just to compete -- tying them into buying seeds from the likes of Monsanto forever.
If Brazil allows these dangerous seeds to be used, it will spark a global domino effect, as country after country race to change laws in order to stay competitive. Brazil’s decision could set the stage for the global ban on terminator seeds to be overturned when the UN treaty is renewed this year. It’s absolutely vital that we stop this move in its tracks.
We’ve come together in the past to take on huge agribusinesses like Monsanto before. We’re fighting Bayer and Syngenta in their attempts to overturn Europe’s ban on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. We’ve taken on the might of Monsanto when we campaigned to stop it receiving the World Food Prize. Now we need to demand that Brazilian lawmakers reject attempts by giant corporate landowners and agribusinesses to allow the use of these dangerous suicide seeds.
Tell Brazilian lawmakers that the world is depending on them to keep the ban on 'terminator seeds'.
Unease among Brazil's farmers as Congress votes on GM terminator seeds, The Guardian, December 2013.
Brazil contemplates using 'terminator seeds', TakePart, December 2013.