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The Seed Week began on Sunday in Paraguay. The event was called by many Paraguayan peasant organizations under the slogan “Peoples’ heritage at the service of humanity”. The activities, scheduled until Tuesday, aim to recognize the value of native seeds, both in terms of quality and for food sovereignty.
A radio spot on the Seed Week sent to Real World Radio by the National Coordination of Indigenous and Rural Women Workers (CONAMURI) said “In defense of native seeds threatened by agribusiness, against the imposition of genetically modified seeds and agrotoxics”. Other organizers include the National Coordinating Board of Peasant Organizations, the Paraguayan Peasant Movement and the Organization of Struggle for Land. The activities, which will take place in the facilities of the former Metropolitan Seminar of Asuncion, will include a meeting with representatives of peasant organizations as well as seed experts and an event downtown to join the “Occupy Monsanto” campaign, which is a global week of action against US transnational corporation Monsanto, world leader in the GM seed market.
Prensa Latina reports that the Seed Week also aims to reclaim native seeds from agribusiness and to build forms of socializing the peasant and indigenous’ productive diversity. There is also tasting of typical food.
Meanwhile, it could be expected that this week Federico Franco’s de facto regime in Paraguay will release five genetically modified (GM) corn events for commercialization: VT Triple Pro, NK603 and MON810, the three owned by Monsanto; BT11 of Swiss company Syngenta; and TC1507 of Dow AgroSciences, which is part of US group Dow Chemical.
“I understand that there is great certainty that next week the release of five corn events will be approved”, Santiago Bertoni, representative of the National Biosafety Commission at the Ministry of Livestock and Agriculture told Reuters news agency. The Commission is the agency in charge of assessing the risks of GMOs in Paraguay. In August, the government had already authorized three varieties of GM cotton seed.
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