La Via Campesina Leads the Global Fight to Defend Traditional Peasant Seeds, Our Seeds, Our Future

This year La Via Campesina has dedicated today, the 17th of April, as the international day of peasant struggles in the defense of seeds. "Seeds are an essential basis for achieving food sovereignty because almost everything in agriculture depends on them: What we can plant and how it is grown; the quality and nutrition of our food, our ability to account for different tastes and cultural preferences; and also the wellbeing of our communities, our ecosystems and the planet." - La Via Campesina

Their declaration concludes by saying, "However, along with millions of allies all over the world, we know that this is not the case. More and more people in the countryside and in the cities refuse the privatization of something as essential to the life of people and of the entire planet as seeds. We know that with peasant seeds we can feed everyone according to the real needs of our communities, rather than of corporations. We know that we can rely on peasant seeds to stop wasting energy by depending on fossil fuels and to produce without agrochemicals. We know that with peasant seeds’ capacity to adapt to new conditions in the fields we have the best chance of confronting climate change."

"We will continue to defend our own seeds in our fields, on the streets, by raising our voices in institutional spaces, and within our own organizations. We will not recognize laws that privatize and destroy them. We will continue to struggle against ‘Monsanto laws’ and also against GMOs. In order to attain food sovereignty, seeds must remain in the hands of men and women peasant farmers all over the world."

La Via Campesina continues to lead the 'People's Agricultural Movement' by industrial agriculture around the globe. The global peasant movement has complied many of the details, information and background about this all important struggle against the corporate greed machine that is devouring the earth in a publication called Our Seeds, Our Future.

Another very interesting report on their work, 'Combating Monsanto Grassroots resistance to  the corporate power of agribusiness in the era of the green economy and a changing climate', jointly produced by La Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International and Combat Monsanto - available in English, French and Spanish - provides snapshots of front-line struggles against Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations pushing genetically modified (GM) crops onto farmers and into the environment.

The movement to ban or at least label all GMO products is gaining momentum despite the lawsuits and deceptive advertising tricks that the rich corporations have attempted to use. For instance in the U.S. the 'Nation's Boldest GMO Label Law Nears Passage in Vermont'.

And this announcement from Moscow, "Russia will not import GMO products", the country's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that. "The nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food. Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country." Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday. "If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don't need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food," he said. "That's because the government of Russia actually cares about its citizens."

Having been a small organic farmer and avid seed saver for over 40 years, i know the hard work it takes and the emotional rewards earned. i know from first hand experience that the single greatest service each of us can provide to our planet, our families and ourselves is to grow our own organic food from non-hybrid seeds. To save our own seed in turn, and in so doing be part of the future solution to the present day destruction being sown by GMO's, agri-business and the bio-technology giants.