Food Sovereignty

Defending Seeds - The Via Campesina's 20-Year Legacy

"A seed is miraculous. A seed has life – you sow one and you reap hundreds.” – Nandini Jairam, La Vía Campesina member, India

Seeds have been a key issue of concern for the Via Campesina since its inception in 1993. As an autonomous, independent movement uniting 250 million small-scale farmers and producers from 70 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, the Via has now become a major player in the seed, food, agriculture, trade and climate debates, and is listened to by international institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Debunking the Myths of GMOs, GRAIN Report

The stories of industrial agriculture as the only solution to end hunger re-emerge here and then, like weeds. At least, as biological indicators of soil quality and fertility, weeds are telling us the truth. The myth that we need to have petroleum-based agriculture and monocrops to feed the world is a lie that agribusinesses like Monsanto want to feed us.

But, as stewards of the Earth, we will need to continue uprooting those myths. GRAIN has published another great report (GMOs: Fooling – er “feeding”- the world for 20 years) that debunks the myths of GMOs and industrial agriculture.

It is a great educational material. Kudos to our colleagues at GRAIN.

Report Exposes the History and Reach of Monsanto

In the news lately for asserting its [extended] patent rights and squelching attempts to label genetically modified foods, the mention of the word ‘Monsanto’ likely conjures up images of family farmers being sued, Agent Orange, the notorious rBGH growth hormone for cows, the suspected carcinogen saccharin, and many other notorious legacies. Now Grassroots International’s ally Food and Water Watch has produced a fascinating and comprehensive report that traces the corporation’s history and close links to legislators, academic researchers, and government regulators.

The Fight Against Monsanto Continues

On May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of agro-chemical giant Monsanto and against small farmers on a seed patent case. This is just another example of the attacks faced by small farmers around the world. Our global partners have been fighting against international corporations like Monsanto for years—in Haiti, Mexico, and right here in the United States.

Planting Seeds of Sovereignty in Palestine

When you hear “seed bank” what comes to mind? Is it perhaps a vault or a deep freezer stocked with seeds? Yes, Grassroots International partner the Union of Agricultural Work Committees’ seed bank has those, but what I saw and heard was so much more than that. UAWC’s seed bank also assists farmers while protecting local agricultural biodiversity across the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) – literally preserving their seed sovereignty amidst the occupation.

Presente! International Day of Peasants' Struggle

On this International Day of Peasants’ Struggle, we recognize the courage, tenacity and absolute necessity of grassroots struggles across the world for rights to land, life and dignity.

And we recognize that all-too-often peasants continue to face threats, repression and even death. In fact, that is why this day was first commemorated, following the murder of 19 peasant land rights activists in Brazil in 1996.

If we rely on corporate seed, we lose food sovereignty

Thousands of small farmers joined students, activists, unionists , human rights advocates and others  at the World Social Forum in Tunisia last week. Among the many demonstrations and calls for action, the plea for seed sovereignty resonated with the peasant organizers who have seen their lands and livelihoods threatened by the “Green Revolution” and the incursion of industrial agriculture.

Commemorating Palestinian Land Day

 For 37 years, March 30 has been celebrated as Palestinian Land Day, a day of action for land rights.  On this date in 1976, Palestinians inside Israel mobilized to protest Israel’s plans to take 2,000 hectares of land from Palestinian communities in Galilee.  Six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces, and hundreds more were injured and arrested.  Though the repression was severe, people around world celebrate this date as an important moment in history, bringing Palestinians together in a common struggle for their rights to land wherever they live.