Posts Tagged ‘Pestizide’

BRD: BASF, Bayer und Syngenta die Rote Karte zeigen! (KAMPAGNE)

Dienstag, Juni 5th, 2012

“Welt-Umwelttag: Aktion gegen hochgefährliche Pestizide

Anlässlich des heutigen Welt-Umwelttags unterstützt die Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren (CBG) die internationale Kampagne gegen die Vermarktung hochgefährlicher Pestizide. Die CBG ruft zu Unterschriften und Protestaktionen auf.

Allein die drei größten Pestizid-Konzerne BASF, Bayer und Syngenta, die fast die Hälfte des Pestizid-Weltmarkts kontrollieren, vermarkten jeweils mehr als fünfzig hochgefährliche Wirkstoffe, die u.a. Krebs auslösen, Nervenschäden und Unfruchtbarkeit verursachen, das Hormonsystem schädigen oder die Biodiversität gefährden können. Die Kampagne „Pestizid-Konzernen die rote Karte zeigen‟ wurde vom Pestizid Aktions-Netzwerk (PAN) initiiert.

Philipp Mimkes von der Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren: „Die Anwendung von Pestiziden wie Paraquat, Carbofuran oder Glufosinat führt zu schweren Gesundheits- und Umweltschäden und muss umgehend gestoppt werden. Dabei darf man nicht auf den guten Willen der Anbieter hoffen: zahlreiche Wirkstoffe befinden sich trotz einer Vielzahl von Vergiftungsfällen seit Jahrzehnten auf dem Markt.‟ Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO schätzt die Zahl der jährlichen Pestizidvergiftungen auf 3 bis 25 Millionen, Zehntausende Fälle verlaufen tödlich. Rund 99% aller Pestizid-Vergiftungen treten in den Ländern des Südens auf.

Die Firma Bayer CropScience ist mit einem Weltmarktanteil von rund 20 % der zweitgrößte Pestizidhersteller der Welt. Erst im vergangenen Herbst hatte der Konzern angekündigt, die Wirkstoffe der WHO-Gefahrenklasse I bis Ende 2012 vom Markt zu nehmen. Das ursprüngliche Versprechen, den Verkauf bis zum Jahr 2000 zu beenden, war gebrochen worden. „Hätte Bayer die ursprüngliche Ankündigung eingehalten, hätten Tausende von Vergiftungsfällen verhindert werden können!‟, so Philipp Mimkes weiter.


● PAN-Studie „Hochgefährliche Pestizide von BASF, Bayer und Syngenta“:
● Kampagne „Bienensterben durch Pestizide“:
BAYER nimmt tödliche Pestizide vom Markt
● Gefahren von Glufosinat:


(Quelle: Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren
        Presse Information vom 5. Juni 2012)

Indien: Bhopal als Menetekel der Globalisierung

Montag, Juli 19th, 2010

“The killing fields of MNCs

By Vandana Shiva

The Bhopal gas tragedy was the worst industrial disaster in human history. Twenty-five thousand people died, 500,000 were injured, and the injustice done to the victims of Bhopal over the past 25 years will go down as the worst case of jurisprudence ever.
The gas leak in Bhopal in December 1984 was from the Union Carbide pesticide plant which manufactured ‘carabaryl’ (trade name ‘sevin’) — a pesticide used mostly in cotton plants. It was, in fact, because of the Bhopal gas tragedy and the tragedy of extremist violence in Punjab that I woke up to the fact that agriculture had become a war zone. Pesticides are war chemicals that kill — every year 220,000 people are killed by pesticides worldwide.
After research I realised that we do not need toxic pesticides that kill humans and other species which maintain the web of life. Pesticides do not control pests, they create pests by killing beneficial species. We have safer, non-violent alternatives such as neem. That is why at the time of the Bhopal disaster I started the campaign ‘No more Bhopals, plant a neem’. The neem campaign led to challenging the biopiracy of neem in 1994 when I found that a US multinational, W.R. Grace, had patented neem for use as pesticide and fungicide and was setting up a neem oil extraction plant in Tumkur, Karnataka. We fought the biopiracy case for 11 years and were eventually successful in striking down the biopiracy patent.
Meanwhile, the old pesticide industry was mutating into the biotechnology and genetic engineering industry. While genetic engineering was promoted as an alternative to pesticides, Bt cotton was introduced to end pesticide use. But Bt cotton has failed to control the bollworm and has instead created major new pests, leading to an increase in pesticide use.
The high costs of genetically-modified (GM) seeds and pesticides are pushing farmers into debt, and indebted farmers are committing suicide. If one adds the 200,000 farmer suicides in India to the 25,000 killed in Bhopal, we are witnessing a massive corporate genocide — the killing of people for super profits. To maintain these super profits, lies are told about how, without pesticides and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), there will be no food. In fact, the conclusions of International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, undertaken by the United Nations, shows that ecologically organic agriculture produces more food and better food at lower cost than either chemical agriculture or GMOs.
The agrochemical industry and its new avatar, the biotechnology industry, do not merely distort and manipulate knowledge, science and public policy. They also manipulate the law and the justice system. The reason justice has been denied to the victims of Bhopal is because corporations want to escape liability. Freedom from liability is, in fact, the real meaning of ‘free trade’. The tragedy of Bhopal is dual. Interestingly, the Bhopal disaster happened precisely when corporations were seeking deregulation and freedom from liability through the instruments of ‘free trade’, ‘trade liberalisation’ and ‘globalisation’, both through bilateral pressure and through the Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation.
Injustice for Bhopal has been used to tell corporations that they can get away with murder. This is what senior politicians communicated to Dow Chemical. This is what the US-India Commission for Environmental Cooperation forum stated on June 11, 2010, in the context of the call from across India for justice for Bhopal victims. As one newspaper commented, Bhopal is being seen as a ‘road block and impediment to trade… the recommendations include removing road blocks to commercial trade by (India), and adoption of a nuclear liability regime’.
Denial of justice to Bhopal has been the basis of all toxic investments since Bhopal, be it Bt cotton, DuPont’s nylon plant or the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill.
Just as Bhopal victims were paid a mere Rs 12,000 (approximately $250) each, the proposed Nuclear Liability Bill also seeks to put a ceiling on liability of a mere $100 million on private operations of a nuclear power plant in case of a nuclear accident. Once again, people can be killed but corporations should not have to pay.
There has also been an intense debate in India on GMOs. An attempt was made by Monsanto/Mahyco to introduce Bt brinjal in 2009. As a result of public hearings across the country, a moratorium has been put on its commercialisation. Immediately after the moratorium a bill was introduced for a Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India —the bill does not only leave the biotechnology industry free of liability, but it also has a clause which empowers the government to arrest and fine those of us who question the need and safety of GMOs.
From Bhopal to pesticides to GMOs to nuclear plants, there are two lessons we can draw. One is that corporations introduce hazardous technologies like pesticides and GMOs for profits, and profits alone. And second lesson, related to trade, is that corporations are seeking to expand markets and relocate hazardous and environmentally costly technologies to countries like India.
Corporates seek to globalise production but they do not want to globalise justice and rights. The difference in the treatment of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical in the context of Bhopal, and of BP in the context of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shows how an apartheid is being created. The devaluation of the life of people of the Third World and ecosystems is built into the project of globalisation. Globalisation is leading to the outsourcing of pollution — hazardous substances and technologies — to the Third World. This is at the heart of globalisation — the economies of genocide.
Lawrence Summers, who was the World Bank’s chief economist and is now chief economic adviser to the Obama government, in a memo dated December 12, 1991, to senior World Bank staff, wrote, ‘Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the less developed countries?’
Since wages are low in the Third World, economic costs of pollution arising from increased illness and death are least in the poorest countries. According to Mr Summers, the logic ‘of relocation of pollutants in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that’.
All this and Bhopal must teach us to reclaim our universal and common humanity and build an Earth Democracy in which all are equal, and corporations are not allowed to get away with crimes against people and the planet.

Dr Vandana Shiva is the executive director of the Navdanya Trust

Copyright © 2010 The Asian Age. All rights reserved.”


(Quelle: Asian Age.)


Siehe auch:

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

Hoax interview by the Yes Men impersonating Dow Chemicals

USA: Mit vereinten Kräften gegen die KleinbäuerInnen

Dienstag, Juli 13th, 2010

“Dupont, Monsanto, and Obama Versus the World’s Family Farmers

By Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq.

The Obama administration has indicated a shift in US development policy from “food aid” (dumping our excess production overseas) with “food security” (improving food production in foreign countries). This would be great for world’s family farmers if Obama’s plan were to ensure their access to clean water, arable land and diverse, locally adapted plants and animals. Unfortunately, President Obama seems set on replacing the bags of wheat, rice and corn with bags of pesticides, fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds.

Most of the world’s food is not produced on industrial mega-farms. 1.5 billion family farmers produce 75 percent of the world’s food.

The hunger problem is not caused by low yields. The world has 6 billion people and produces enough food for 9 billion people.

There are now 1.02 billion hungry people in the world (nearly 50 million in the US). At the same time, there are 1 billion people who are overweight, many of whom are obese and suffer from diet-related diseases that can be as deadly as starvation. Hunger and obesity are not the result of low yields, they stem from the overproduction of toxic junk food, the scarcity of healthy organic food, and injustice in the way farmland and food are distributed.

While many of the world’s leaders discussed the food crisis at a UN Food Summit in Rome (November 13-17, 2009), farmers, who were not part of the official delegations, took part in demonstrations outside the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters and met at an alternative forum, People’s Food Sovereignty Now! The 642 participants (more than half women) from 93 countries represent the more than
1.5 billion family farmers who produce 75 per cent of the world’s food. Here’s what they had to say:

We reaffirm that our ecological food provision actually feeds the large majority of people all over the world in both rural and urban areas (more than 75%). Our practices focus on food for people not profit for corporations. It is healthy, diverse, localized and cools the planet.

…Our practices, because they prioritize feeding people locally, minimize waste and losses of food and do not create the damage caused by industrial production systems. Peasant agriculture is resilient and can adapt to and mitigate climate change…

We call for a reframing of research, using participatory methods, that will support our ecological model of food provision. We are the innovators building on our knowledge and skills. We rehabilitate local seeds systems and livestock breeds and fish/aquatic species for a changing climate…

We commit to shorten distances between food provider and consumer. We will strengthen urban food movements and advance urban and peri-urban agriculture. We will reclaim the language of food emphasizing nutrition and diversity in diets that exclude meat provided from industrial systems.

- From the People’s Food Sovereignty Now! Declaration, November 2009

Are rich countries hearing the world’s family farmers? Last summer, President Obama announced a dramatic shift in the way the United States, the world’s largest provider of food aid, would address hunger and food shortages in foreign countries. The focus will now be on “sustainable agricultural development” that will “empower smallholder farmers.” As a member of the G8, the United States is committed to contribute $3.5 billion toward:

$20 billion over three years through [a] coordinated, comprehensive strategy focused on sustainable agriculture development, while keeping a strong commitment to ensure adequate emergency food aid assistance. … [This includes] country-owned strategies, in particular to increase food production, improve access to food and empower smallholder farmers to gain access to enhanced inputs, technologies, credit and markets.

It’s about time that the US and other rich countries that subsidize overproduction stopped dumping food aid on countries in a way that drives local producers out of the market and off their land. But, what do rich countries mean when they say, “enhanced inputs” and “technologies”?

“Enhanced inputs” and “technologies” is the language of the Green Revolution and the Gene Revolution that has come to see the world’s family farmers as a captive market for Monsanto and Dupont’s patented, genetically engineered crops, the pesticides these crops are modified to produce or withstand, and the synthetic fertilizers needed to spur their growth.

President Obama has stacked his administration with people who are tied to multinationals like Monsanto (of Agent Orange infamy) and Dupont (the company that earned the largest civil administrative penalty ever for concealing the cancer risks of one of its products), to push expensive inputs that threaten family farmers’ access to clean water, arable land and the biodiversity cultivated by previous generations.

Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is in charge of food safety. Taylor is responsible for the decision to treat GMOs as “substantially equivalent” to the natural plants they are derived from. This removed the government’s responsibility to determine whether GMOs were safe for human consumption.
Roger Beachy, director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is in charge of USDA research.

Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative. (Opposition to Siddiqui’s nomination, including a New York Times editorial, forced Obama to use a recess appointment to block a Senate vote. Senate confirmation was not required for the posts Taylor and Beachy fill.)

Rajiv Shah leads USAID and also served as Obama’s USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist.

Shah, a 37-year-old medical doctor with a business degree and no previous government experience, was the agricultural programs director for the explicitly pro-biotech Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is on the board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). AGRA and the Gates Foundation have been criticized for working closely with Monsanto and its non-profit research arm, the Danforth Center, and promoting GMOs. Links and collaborations include project partnerships, hiring one another’s employees and making donations to one another’s projects. At the Gates Foundation, Shah supervised Lawrence Kent, who had been the director of international programs at the Danforth Center, and Monsanto vice president Robert Horsch, a scientist who led genetic engineering of plants at the seed giant.

The Gates Foundation partners with Monsanto and the Danforth Center on projects that seek to find technological solutions to the problems of hunger in poor countries. These projects have generated a lot of publicity for the idea that genetic engineering could be the solution to world hunger, but they have not produced even a single genetically engineered plant that is proven to offer stress-resistance, increased yields or improved nutrition.

Raj Patel, Eric Holt-Gimenez and Annie Shattuck, writing for the Nation (Ending Africa’s Hunger, September 2, 2009) report that:

[T]he foundation’s $1.3 billion in agricultural development grants have been invested in science and technology, with almost 30 percent of the 2008 grants promoting and developing seed biotechnologies.

Travis English and Paige Miller, researchers with the Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global Justice, have uncovered some striking trends in Gates Foundation funding. By following the money, English told us that “AGRA used funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to write twenty-three grants for projects in Kenya. Twelve of those recipients are involved in research in genetically modified agriculture, development or advocacy. About 79 percent of funding in Kenya involves biotech in one way or another.” And, English says, “so far, we have found over $100 million in grants to organizations connected to Monsanto.”

In his short tenure at the USDA, he has used connections made at the Gates Foundation to fill the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area with biotech scientists and advocates. These include Beachy of the Danforth Center, Maura O’Neill who ran a public-private venture dedicated to drawing biotech companies to the Seattle area where the Gates Foundation is based, and Rachel Goldfarb, another former Gates employee.

Shah has used his USDA post to champion genetic engineering and other controversial technologies. In a report to Congress earlier this year on programs delivered by his mission area, Shah emphasized technology over ecology, saying, “We can build on tremendous recent scientific discoveries – incredible advances in sequencing plant and animal genomes, and the beginnings of being able to understand what those sequences actually mean. We have new and powerful tools in biotechnology and nanotechnology.”

He has also directed millions of dollars toward GMO research. Shah has already awarded approximately $64 million in grants for genetic engineering.

These include $46 million through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. (This money may not go exclusively to GMO research projects, but “science-based tools,” “genetics and genomics,” and “innovations and technologies,” describe the initiative, while there is no mention of organic practices, conventional breeding or integrated pest management.)

Another $7 million goes to several universities for research to develop stress-resistant crops, a research topic that Monsanto promotes as their raison d’etre, despite the fact that they have never commercialized a single stress-resistant GMO plant, while hundreds of thousands of stress-resistant varieties are utilized by traditional farmers around the world who have saved seed and bred their plants conventionally for centuries.

The GMO research grants also include $11 million in Coordinated Agricultural Project grants to four research universities to study “plant genomics and ways to improve the nutrition and health values of important crops.” Expect more GMO tomatoes, potatoes, barley, soybean, and trees. And be on the lookout for new, GMO legumes embedded with cholesterol and diabetes drugs.

According to a USDA press release on the awards, “Because humans consume more legumes than any other crop, this research has the potential to reduce cholesterol and sugar levels, which in turn can prevent or alleviate certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”

The irony is that there’s a GMO legume already on the market, soy, that has found its way into just about all processed and fried foods in the form of partially hydrogenated soybean oil (a.k.a. trans fat). Will the result of this research be a new GMO legume that treats diet-related diseases caused by other GMO legumes?

It would certainly be a first for the field of genetic engineering. In fact, any new GMO crop that actually improved the nutrition, health value, or stress-resistance of any crop would be a first. Contrary to popular belief, to date, there is not one consumer benefit associated with any GMO crop. They’re all genetically modified to either withstand or produce pesticides (usually manufactured by the chemical company that genetically engineered the crop).

The frightening thing is that the plan to create a genetically engineered legume that could reduce cholesterol and sugar levels would most likely be a pharma crop, a plant genetically engineered to produce a pharmaceutical. This is one of the most dangerous forms of genetic engineering. When grown outdoors on farmland, where most pharma crop trials have occurred, pharma crops can easily contaminate conventional and organic crops. In one chilling example from 2002, a corn crop engineered by ProdiGene to produce a vaccine for pigs contaminated 500,000 bushels of soybeans that were grown in the Nebraska field the next season. Before this incident, a similar thing had happened in Iowa where the USDA ordered ProdiGene to pay for the burning of 155 acres of conventional corn that may have cross-pollinated with some of the firm’s biotech plants.

ProdiGene eventually went out of business, but not before it received a $6 million investment from the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack, currently Shah’s boss at the USDA. Vilsack didn’t want any restrictions placed on experimental pharma crops. In reaction to suggestions that pharma crops should be kept away from food crops, Vilsack argued that “we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.”

Beachy, currently working under Shah as the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture director, joined Vilsack in support of ProdiGene and against regulation of pharma crops when he was still the director of the Danforth Center. He said in 2004 that scientists must be free to experiment in open fields:

A ban would significantly halt the technology of producing drugs more cheaply in plants” than through current methods, Beachy said. And if work on biopharming to grow industrial chemicals were halted, “then you have stopped another kind of advance that we’re looking for to give an economic advantage to our farmers.

In other news, the USDA announced on November 2, 2009, that an international team of scientists funded with a $10 million USDA grant has completed its first draft of the genome of a domesticated pig.

“Understanding the swine genome will lead to health advancements in the swine population and accelerate the development of vaccinations for pigs,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director.  “This new insight into the genetic makeup of the swine population can help reduce disease and enable medical advancements in both pigs and humans.”

And, it would aid Monsanto in their effort to patent pigs.


(Quelle: Organic Consumers Association.)

Kenia: Selbst die Krokodile hungern

Mittwoch, Juni 16th, 2010

“Selbst die Krokodile hungern

Von Ralf Leonhard, Tana-Delta

In Kenia wie in andern afrikanischen Staaten sichern sich InvestorInnen aus Industrie- und Schwellenländern riesige Landflächen, um Agrosprit zu produzieren oder die Ernte zu exportieren

Mitapanai ist kein richtiges Dorf. Die Siedlung mit ihren 78 palmstrohgedeckten Hütten dürfte es eigentlich gar nicht geben. Zumindest nicht hier. Mariam Abdalla lebt in Mitapanai und ist von einem Dutzend ihrer Kinder und Enkel umringt. Sie rechnet jeden Tag mit einem Brief der staatlichen Tana and Athi River Development Authority (Tarda), jener Behörde, die das fruchtbare Land im Delta des Tana-Flusses verwaltet. Demnächst baut hier der grösste, einst staatliche Zuckerproduzent des Landes, Mumias, grossflächig Zuckerrohr an – für Agrosprit.

Die BäuerInnen des Gebiets sind 1991 schon einmal vertrieben worden, damals für ein Projekt zum Reisanbau. Tarda hatte ihnen eine kleine Entschädigung gezahlt und sie in einer nahe gelegenen Senke ausserhalb des Anbaugebiets angesiedelt. Doch dort komme zweimal im Jahr das Hochwasser, sagt Abdalla. Und bei jeder Überschwemmung verlieren die BäuerInnen die gesamte Ernte. Deshalb sind alle DorfbewohnerInnen wieder umgezogen und haben sich am Rande des Projektgebietes niedergelassen, wo sie sich knapp selbst versorgen können.

Privatsache des Präsidenten

Das Delta des Tana-Flusses ist das fruchtbarste Gebiet Kenias. Seit Menschengedenken besiedeln es KleinbäuerInnen. Nomadisierende Hirtenstämme kommen in der Trockenzeit hierher, um ihre Herden auf dem saftigen Grasland weiden zu lassen. Doch in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten haben verschiedene landwirtschaftliche Grossprojekte, die allesamt gescheitert sind, gewaltig in die Buschlandschaft eingegriffen. Es wurden Dämme aufgeschüttet und Nebenarme des Flusses abgetrennt. In diesen Altwasserseen tummeln sich Nilpferde, die sich träge am Ufer sonnen. Das sumpfige Land ist Heimat zahlloser Vögel, die hier ausreichend Nahrung finden. Vom Reisprojekt von 1991 zeugt nur noch die Ruine einer gigantischen Schälanlage.

Nun scheint sich die Geschichte zu wiederholen, allerdings in noch grösseren Dimensionen: Kenias Präsident Mwai Kibaki hat Emir Hamad al-Thani vom Golfstaat Katar enorme Landflächen zum Gemüseanbau im Tana-Delta versprochen. Die Verfassung gibt dem Präsidenten das Recht, über Staatsland frei zu verfügen.
Fakten und Informationen zu den Grossprojekten, die als «Land Grabbing» bezeichnet werden (vgl. unten), sind nur schwer in Erfahrung zu bringen. So wurde das Abkommen mit Katar zwar im Dezember 2008 in der kenianischen Presse bekannt gemacht. Doch seither sind keine weiteren Details mehr an die Öffentlichkeit gedrungen. Es heisst, Katar werde als Gegenleistung den verschlafenen Hafen von Lamu am Indischen Ozean zum modernen Export hafen ausbauen. Aber selbst hohe RegierungsfunktionärInnen verfügen über keine Informationen aus offiziellen Kanälen. Serah Munguti, die der staatlichen Naturschutzorganisation Nature Kenya vorsteht und damit über die Erhaltung der Naturressourcen zu wachen hat, fühlt sich übergangen: «Was wir wissen, haben wir aus den Medien, die die Pressestelle des Präsidenten zitieren.» Die Informationen gehen nicht über den engsten Kreis des Präsidenten hinaus.

Die Ernten sollen ausnahmslos nach Katar exportiert werden, obwohl nur zwanzig Prozent des Bodens für Ackerbau geeignet sind und es in Kenia immer wieder zu Hungersnöten kommt. So musste das Welternährungsprogramm der Uno 2009 fast 4 der gesamthaft 39 Millionen EinwohnerInnen Kenias vor dem Hungertod bewahren – ein Minister hatte die Getreidereserven des Landes an den Sudan verkauft. Die letzten zwei Jahre herrschte zudem Dürre. Und auch 2010 muss das Land wieder Grundnahrungsmittel importieren.

Ausgeschlossen, ausgetrocknet

Der grossflächige Anbau von Exportprodukten gefährdet jedoch nicht nur die Nahrungssicherheit, sondern auch die Lebensweise der Bevölkerung und das ökologische Gleichgewicht der Region. So sind mindestens 2000 Nomadenfamilien von den Weidegründen im Tana-Delta abhängig. Wenn die beiden Megaprojekte Gestalt annehmen, werden die Weiden eingezäunt und in Plantagen verwandelt. Der Zugang zum Fluss wäre für das Vieh blockiert.
Dennoch will Sunya Orre, der den Bereich Nahrung und Ernährungspolitik einer interministeriellen Einheit koordiniert, über die wahren Dimensionen der Grossprojekte keine Angaben machen. Er bestätigt aber, dass gerade die Hirtennomaden der von der Regierung angestrebten Entwicklung «tendenziell im Wege stehen». Das zeigt auch die wirtschaftliche Entwicklungsstrategie der Regierung mit dem Titel «Vision 2030», in der Investitionen in grossflächige Exportmonokulturen vorgesehen sind.

Die Pläne für das Tana-Delta passen da gut hinein, mit allen vorhersehbaren Konsequenzen: «Wenn Feuchtland für landwirtschaftliche Bewässerung in Beschlag genommen wird, dann hat das Folgen», sagt Orre. «So wird das Land den Viehzüchtern nicht mehr zur Verfügung stehen. Damit wird die Viehzucht unwirtschaftlich, die Menschen werden verelenden, und ihr Wirtschaftssystem wird zusammenbrechen.»
Aber auch Zehntausende Bäuer Innen, die Mais, Maniok, Bohnen, Gemüse und Mangos anbauen, würden von ihrem Land vertrieben. Die Bewässerungskanäle könnten zudem das Umland austrocknen, wie die GegnerInnen der Projekte befürchten.

BäuerInnen, die ihr Land verlieren, werden oft zu Entwurzelten ohne Zukunftsaussichten, die in den Slums der Grossstädte enden. Der Sozialarbeiter Owino Kotieno betreut viele Betroffene in Kibera, dem grössten Slum der Hauptstadt Nairobi: «Das sogenannte Land Grabbing hat die Menschen zu Landlosen gemacht», sagt Kotieno. Man nehme den Menschen die Möglichkeit, ihre eigenen Nahrungsmittel anzubauen. Multinationale Unternehmen oder einzelne Investoren nutzten die oft schlechte Bildung der Betroffenen aus und würden Gesetze umgehen. «Manche Konzerne zerstören sogar Wasserschutzgebiete. Entwicklung ist dann gleichbedeutend mit der Zerstörung der Ressourcen.»

Das befürchtet auch Richard Kiaka, Büroleiter der Umweltorganisation Eco Ethics mit Sitz in der Hafenstadt Mombasa. Wenn Tierarten aus dem Delta verschwinden würden, hätte dies weitreichende Konsequenzen für die Menschen: «Wird beispielsweise keine Kläranlage gebaut, dann werden viele Fische vergiftet oder ihre Fortpflanzung gestört», erläutert Kiaka. «Die Krokodile in den Flüssen und Altwasserseen würden folglich weniger Nahrung finden, und die Fischer müssten damit rechnen, vermehrt von hungrigen Krokodilen attackiert zu werden.»

Menschliche Vogelscheuche

Wer dennoch die Hoffnung hegt, dass Zuckerrohrplantagen oder gar das mysteriöse Katarprojekt im Tana-Delta Fortschritt, Arbeitsplätze und Wohlstand bringen werden, sollte sich in den Yala-Sümpfen am Ufer des Victoriasees umsehen. Auf riesigen Reisfeldern stehen dort Frauen bis zu den Knien im Morast. Sie haben den Auftrag, als eine Art lebendige Vogelscheuchen gefrässige Vögel fernzuhalten.

Als vor zehn Jahren der US-Konzern Dominion Farms Limited ins Land und an den Victoriasee kam, wurden der Bevölkerung dort Jobs, Schulen und Kliniken in Aussicht gestellt. Dominion baut inzwischen grossflächig Reis an und hat Pläne, die Anbaufläche weiter auszudehnen und andere Produkte für den Export anzubauen.

Doch anstelle der anfänglichen Begeisterung für ein Projekt, das während der Rodung über tausend Menschen beschäftigte, sind bei den BewohnerInnen der Region inzwischen Frustration und Wut getreten. Ausser für ein paar Dutzend Wächter und menschliche Vogelscheuchen gibt es praktisch keine Arbeit für die lokale Bevölkerung. Der Bau von Schulen und Kliniken blieb eine leere Versprechung. Den Bäuerinnen und Rinderzüchtern wurde der Zugang zu ihren Wasserquellen abgeschnitten, mit Kleinflugzeugen versprühte Pestizide verseuchen die Ernten und machen das Vieh krank.
Und BäuerInnen, die ihr Land nicht verkaufen wollen, finden ihre Grundstücke immer wieder unter Wasser gesetzt, wenn Dominion die Schleusen der Stauseen öffnet. Der Lokalpolitiker Leo nardo Oriaro kennt die Methoden des Konzerns. Wenn das Land unter Wasser stehe, kämen die Leute von Dominion und fragten, ob die BäuerInnen immer noch nicht verkaufen wollten: «Sie nutzen alle Möglichkeiten, um die Gemeinden kleinzukriegen. Die Überflutungen sind ein Mittel, die Bauern aus der Nachbarschaft zu vertreiben.»

Wenige Kilometer entfernt, am Ufer des malerischen Kanyaboli-Sees, liegt auf einer Anhöhe die Villa von Sammy Weya. Der ehemalige Parlamentsabgeordnete brachte Dominion Farms ins Land. Es hat sich für ihn offensichtlich gelohnt: Die geteerte Strasse endet an seinem schmiedeeisernen Tor, und die Stromleitung, an die keine der umliegenden Hütten angeschlossen ist, führt bis in seine Villa.

Auch im Tana-Delta machen sich LokalpolitikerInnen stark für die Zuckerrohrplantage und das Katarprojekt. Doch der Widerstand wächst. Serah Munguti von der staatlichen Naturschutzorganisation Nature Kenya hat eine einstweilige Verfügung gegen das Zuckerrohrprojekt erwirkt. Die Ökolog­Innen sehen die Vogelwelt im Delta bedroht und betrachten die Monokulturen als Gefahr für die Nahrungssicherheit der Bevölkerung.

Sie fordern, dass die Regierung wirtschaftliche Alternativen für die Deltaregion überprüft. Eine Untersuchung von Nature Kenya hat gezeigt, dass die Wertschöpfung durch traditionelle Nutzung wie Ackerbau, Fischfang und Viehzucht die potenziellen Erträge einer Zuckerrohrplantage um das Dreifache übersteigt. Munguti ist davon überzeugt, dass Investitionen in Strassen, Absatzmärkte oder einfach auch nur eine Mangoaufbereitungsanlage weit mehr wirtschaftliche Entwicklung für die Region zur Folge hätten als ein Bewässerungsprojekt für den Anbau von Exportprodukten. Die Gewinne würden dabei allerdings 30000 Siedlerinnen und Hirtennomaden zugute kommen und nicht einem einzelnen Unternehmen.

Land Grabbing

Grossflächiger Landerwerb in Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika ist nichts Neues. Die oft damit verbundene Vertreibung der ansässigen Bevölkerung auch nicht. Seit der Nahrungsmittelkrise und dem Agrospritboom der vergangenen Jahre hat sich jedoch das Interesse zahlungskräftiger Akteure wie Staaten oder transnationaler Konzerne vervielfacht. Das lässt sich ablesen am Anstieg des Anteils von Landerwerb bei ausländischen Direktinvestitionen. Afrika steht dabei ganz oben auf der Liste der InvestorInnen. In oft undurchsichtigen Abkommen mit den lokalen Eliten werden die Interessen der betroffenen Bevölkerung regelmässig übergangen oder Versprechungen nicht eingehalten. Umweltschutzansprüche und Sozialverträglichkeit – so sie überhaupt überprüft werden – entsprechen selten internationalen Standards.

Bei einem akademischen Forum an der ETH Zürich Mitte Mai zum Thema «Land Grabbing» vermochte keiner und keine der Geladenen einen konkreten Fall darzustellen, bei dem die Lokalbevölkerung tatsächlich profitiert hätte.

Ein Vertreter der Weltbank blieb der Veranstaltung mit der Begründung fern, dass ein entsprechender Weltbankbericht noch nicht zur Veröffentlichung freigegeben sei. Die Weltbank empfiehlt und fördert den Anbau von Exportmonokulturen in Ländern des Südens, selbst in Staaten, wo die Lebensmittelversorgung der lokalen Bevölkerung nicht gelöst ist.”


(Quelle: WOZ.)

Lateinamerika: Ist das Modell der industriellen Landwirtschaft gescheitert?

Dienstag, Juni 15th, 2010

“Predatory Harvests

By Emilio Godoy

MEXICO CITY, Jun 14, 2010 (IPS) – Industrial-scale monoculture farming is violating the human rights to adequate food and housing, as well as labour, territorial and environmental rights in Latin America, according to a report released Monday in the Mexican capital.

The 255-page study ‘Azúcar roja, desiertos verdes’ (Red Sugar, Green Deserts) says monoculture agriculture destroys biodiversity, pollutes and exhausts water sources and rivers, erodes soils, causes forced displacement, deprives indigenous and other campesino (peasant) families of natural resources and seriously damages health through the use of pesticides and herbicides.

The multi-author report was coordinated by Habitat International Coalition (HIC), Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) and Solidarity Sweden-Latin America, international networks concerned with housing, the right to food and solidarity with Latin America, respectively, to assess the impact of monoculture crops in the region.

‘The current model of development encourages agroexports, and national government policies support this model,’ Natalia Landívar, a FIAN delegate in Ecuador and one of the study’s authors, who took part in the launch of the report, told IPS.

The report includes case studies of African oil palm plantations in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, sugarcane in Central America and Brazil, soybeans in Argentina, pineapples in Costa Rica and the forestry industry in Chile.

Monocultures appeared in Latin America in the mid-20th century, and spread rapidly in the 1970s, when Latin American countries took on a leading role as commodity suppliers to industrialised nations.

The phenomenon ‘is part of a complex web of control and domination that includes the struggle for power, financial markets, the exploitation of labour and energy sources,’ Gerardo Cerdas, the Costa Rican coordinator of Grito de los Excluídos Continental (Continental Cry of the Excluded), a movement for work, justice and life, who was also present at the event, told IPS.

For example, Argentina’s soybean production, which occupies more than 16 million hectares and is primarily for export, climbed from 10 million tonnes in 1991 to 48 million tonnes in 2007, encouraged by soaring international prices, which rose from 180 dollars per tonne in 1991 to 580 dollars in 2008.

Agribusiness companies ‘concentrate land, destroy forests and exploit campesino families,’ Paulo Aranda, a leader of the National Indigenous Campesino Movement of Argentina, which is against genetically modified soybeans, complained to IPS at the presentation of the report.

In Costa Rica, pineapples are grown on some 54,000 hectares, which has made the Central American country the top global producer. The U.S. food giant Del Monte is the main harvester and the chief market is the United States.

‘Pineapples have grown because of agrochemicals. They have caused water pollution, loss of ecosystems, soil degradation and labour exploitation,’ Soledad Castro, of the Costa Rican Centre for Environmental and Natural Resources Law (CEDARENA), who travelled to the Mexican capital for the launch of the report, told IPS.

Now monocultures are being developed to produce raw materials for agrofuels, like ethanol made from sugarcane and biodiesel produced from African palm oil. The main motivation is to supply the voracious U.S. energy market.

The prospect of a decline in oil production and the need to curb emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of fossil fuel use have contributed to the surge in enthusiasm for biofuels.

Brazil has become the main Latin American producer of ethanol from sugarcane, making more than 27 billion litres a year, and it is seeking to replicate its production model in Mexico, Central America, Japan and several African countries.

Several sugar mills in Mexico have invested in equipment to generate ethanol, although domestic consumption has not taken off. A pilot project to mix ethanol with gasoline for cars in Guadalajara, a city 535 kilometres northwest of the Mexican capital, has stalled.

A tender process organised by the state Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) for the purchase of 658 million litres of ethanol failed, and a new bidding round is under way, although producers are more attracted to the idea of selling to the U.S. market, which demands greater volumes and pays higher prices.

‘Agrofuels are an attempt to artificially maintain the present energy mix, which is not at all viable,’ stressed Cerdas.

Social organisations that oppose monocultures want to press their case at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Committee on World Food Security’s next session, to be held in October.

‘International aid has supported agribusiness rather than small farmers,’ said Landívar.

The report recommends diversifying agricultural production, satisfying the food needs of families, using eco-friendly agricultural techniques, reducing the energy cost of agricultural systems and making productive use of biomass generated by agriculture.”



(Quelle: .)

Wer entscheidet, was wir essen?

Mittwoch, Juni 9th, 2010

Who is deciding what we eat?

By Esther Vivas

The increasing conversion of agriculture into a commodity industry is an undeniable reality today. The privatisation of natural resources, the policies of structural adjustment, the gradual disappearance of the peasantry and the industrialisation of food systems have driven us to the current food crisis situation.

In this context, who is deciding what we eat? The answer is clear: a handful of multinationals of the agro-food industry, with the blessing of governments and international institutions, end up imposing their private interest above collective needs. Due to this situation, our food security is seriously threatened.

The supposed concern of governments and institutions such as the G8, the G20, the World Trade Organization, etc., regarding the rise of the price of basic food and its impact on the more disadvantaged peoples, as they showed in the course of 2008 in international summits, has only shown their deep hypocrisy. They take significant economic profits from the current food and agricultural model, using it as an imperialist instrument for political, economic and social control, towards the countries of the global South.

As pointed out by the international movement of La Vía Campesina, at the end of the FAO meeting in Rome in November 2009: “The absence of the heads of state of the G8 countries has been one of the key causes of the dismal failure of this summit. Concrete measures were not taken to eradicate hunger, to stop the speculation on food or to hold back the expansion of agrofuels”. Likewise, commitments such as those of the Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security and the Food Security Trust Fund of the World Bank, which have the explicit support of the G8 and the G20, also point this out, leaving our food supply, once again, in the hands of the market.

Yet the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of the FAO is, according to La Vía Campesina, a step forward towards democratizing the decision-making processes over agriculture and environment: “At least this workspace respects the basic rule of democracy, which is the principle of “one country, one vote”, and it gives a new opportunity to civil society”. However, we will still have to check the real impact of the CFS.

The agro-food chain is subjected, in its whole route, to a high business concentration. Starting with the first stretch, seeds, we can observe that ten of the biggest companies (such as Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer…), according to data from the ETC Group, control one half of sales. Copyright laws, which give exclusive rights on seeds to these companies, have further stimulated the business concentration of the sector and have eroded the peasant right to the maintenance of indigenous seeds and biodiversity.

The seed industry is intimately linked to that of pesticides. The biggest seed companies also dominate this other sector and very frequently the development and marketing of both products are done together. Moreover, in the pesticide industry, the monopoly is even greater and the ten biggest multinationals control 84% of the global market. This same dynamic is observed in the sector of food distribution and in that of the processing of drinks and foods. It is all about strategy, and it is bound to increase.

Big-scale retailing, just like other sectors, registers a high business concentration. In Europe, between 1987 and 2005, the market share of the ten biggest multinationals of big-scale retailing was 45% of the total and the chances are that they will reach 75% in the next 10-15 years. In countries such as a Sweden, three supermarket chains control around 95.1% of the market share; and in countries such as Denmark, Belgium, the Spanish State, France, Netherlands, Great Britain and Argentina, a handful of companies control between 60% and 45% of the market. Mega fusions are the usual dynamic. This monopoly and concentration enables them to wield huge power to determine what we buy, the price of products, their origin, and how they have been elaborated.

Making a profit from hunger
In the middle of the food crisis, the main multinational companies of the agro-food industry announced record profit figures. Monsanto and Dupont, the main seed companies, declared a rise of their profits of 44% and 19% respectively in 2007 in relation to the previous year. The data of fertilizer companies pointed out the same: Potash Corp, Yara and Sinochem, saw their profits rise by 72%, 44% and 95% respectively between 2007 and 2006. Food processors such as Nestlé also experienced a rise of their economic gains, as well as supermarkets such as Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart, while millions of people in the world did not have access to food.


– Esther Vivas is a member of the Centre for Studies on Social Movements (CEMS) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She is co-coordinator of the books in Spanish “Supermarkets, No Thanks” and “Where is Fair Trade headed?”. She is also a member of the editorial board of Viento Sur (
(Article published in Diagonal, nº115.)

(Quelle: Radio Chango.)