From Senegal to Iowa: The Frontlines of GM Agriculture | Pesticide Action Network
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From Senegal to Iowa: The Frontlines of GM Agriculture

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From Senegal to Iowa, from the Philippines to Hawai'i, farmers explore the origin story of GE seeds, the implications, and how we’re fighting for food sovereignty in Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers. This animated short video, a collaboration between PAN North America and Hawai'i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), in partnership with PAN Asia Pacific, will premiere on Tuesday, November 17th.

Just as farmers, workers, and weed scientists predicted when the floodgates first opened for GM seeds, weed resistance to the herbicides that GM seeds are modified to withstand is accelerating fast. Worldwide, GM agriculture is driving dramatic increases in herbicide use to combat these resistant “superweeds.” It’s a treadmill of pesticide use and exposure for farmers and their communities. 

Around the world, the pesticide treadmill wreaks havoc on farmer livelihoods in many ways. From the expense of patented GM seed (and the accompanying chemicals), to the cost of managing superweeds in the fields, to planting GM seed defensively to avoid pesticide drift damage or the possibility of patent lawsuit — communities on the frontlines of GM agriculture bear the brunt of this dangerous system. Meanwhile, seed and chemical company giants like Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) reap the profits: 

Farmers and workers like us often have no choice but to become a part of this market-based system — and we’re lacking policies that support us in escaping this treadmill. 

-Patti Naylor, Iowa Farmer

Just three companies — Bayer, ChemChina, and Corteva — dominate the world’s seed, pesticide, and agricultural biotechnology industries. Between them, they have historically unprecedented power over world agriculture, enabling them to control the agricultural research agenda, heavily influencing policy, trade, and agricultural agreements, and subverting market competition. Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers explores the complexity of this system, and how farmers and their communities are resisting. 

In Senegal, just 3 multinationals control 50% of the seed market! We must ban GMOs and return to traditional seed varieties. 

-Pesticide Action Network Africa

For years now, pesticide industry giants have peddled their genetically engineered technology kits: modified seeds and the herbicides that go with them — and those on the frontlines of GM agriculture have borne the brunt of this dangerous system. This is a truly global problem; in some cases, in countries where certain pesticides are banned, the chemicals are simply exported to places with less regulatory restrictions.

The story of GM agriculture looks different around the world — but we’re all affected. To learn more, RSVP today for our November 17 launch of Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers: From the Frontlines of GM Agriculture

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is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction