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Poor Brazilian farmers say ‘No’ to Monsanto and biotech

(January 26, 2001 – Cropchoice news) – More than 1,000 poor Brazilian farmers invaded a Monsanto biotech plant in Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul today.

The farmers, along with activists from the anti-World Economic Forum summit happening at Porto Alegre, tore genetically modified corn and soybean plants from the ground of Monsanto’s experimental farm.

“We’re staying here indefinitely,” Solet Campolete, one of the leaders of the Landless Workers Movement, told Reuters. “These seeds trick farmers and create dependency on seeds produced by a big multinational.''

French farmer Jose Bove, traveled to the plant to show his support. He said that genetic engineering increases farmers’ dependence on biotech companies and the pesticides and chemicals they sell.

Brazil is the only country in the Western hemisphere that has banned the commercial cultivation, importation or sale of genetically modified food, although it does allow research. This non-biotech policy, has helped Brazil take European soy markets away from the United States. Europeans have increasingly called for non-genetically modified food, including animal feed.

Source: Reuters