In the morning of 5 March 2015, 1,000 women from the Landless Rural Workers Movement in Brazil (MST) occupied the area of field trials with genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, run by the biotechnology company FuturaGene (owned by the Suzano pulp and paper company) in Itapetininga, state of Sao Paulo. The action prevented the continuation of the research with transgenic eucalyptus seedlings, denouncing its negative impacts on the environment. Later that morning, another group of 300 peasants from La Via Campesina occupied the building and meeting of the Biosafety Technical National Commission (CTNBio), which planned to decide whether to approve Futuragene’s transgenic eucalyptus trees. As a result of the occupation, CTNBio meeting was postponed and no decision was made. According to Atiliana Brunetto, a member of the National MST, any decision of the Commission must respect the Brazilian legislation and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to which Brazil is a signatory. “The precautionary principle is always ignored by CTNBio. The vast majority of its members are placed in favour of business interests of the large multinationals at the expense of environmental, social and public health consequences,” she says. For Brunetto all approved transgenic organisms mean more pesticides in agriculture, since the packets approved for commercializing always include one or other type of agrotoxin.
See videos and photos here
See also a letter from the Executive Coordinator of the Centre for Studies and Research of the Extreme South of Bahia – CEPEDES/BA and activist in the Campaign against agrotoxins and for life, in Portuguese here, and in Spanish here.
On 9 April, the CTNBio will meet again to discuss the commercial release of transgenic eucalyptus trees in Brazil and will try again to approve it. Therefore, once again, we invite everyone to accompany the popular struggles demanding CTNBio to stop the release of GE trees.
You can sign solidarity a petition through the “Stop GE Trees Campaign” here