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Industrial agriculture, which has expanded in different parts of the world, is based on the use of agrotoxics, said Carlos Vicente, of Grain organization, during an event held in Argentina to mark the International day of No Pesticide Use.
“This model is not possible without agrotoxics. Monsanto, which is the largest biotech company and one of the main promoters of genetically modified (GM) soy, earns much more from selling Glyphosate than genetically modified soy. That is where the money is for them”, he said.
Vicente read the speech before the Stockholm Parliament, when GRAIN was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize (or Right Livelihood Award) in 2011. At the time the slogan was “It is time to repudiate land grabbers”. The organization said “never before, so much money had been spent on the industrial food system”.
“In the last decade we witnessed a great increase of speculation in the basic food export markets, which lead to the soaring of prices everywhere. With the current global financial and economic crisis, speculative capital looks for safe havens to multiply”, he said.
The money “flows directly” to industrial agriculture and land acquisitions. Banks, investment and pension funds are used in this context to buy land all over the world.
“The data and the contracts are very easy to obtain, but the current estimates show that in the recent years between 60 and 80 million hectares of land have been acquired by foreign investors to produce food. This corresponds to half of the agriculture land of the European Union. This mostly takes place in Africa, where peoples’ customary rights over land are being ignored”, concluded Vicente.
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