The Farmworker Association of Florida affirms the right of farmworkers to live and work in healthy environments and communities and upholds our commitment to the transformation of our current agricultural system to one that is free of corporate control and that puts power back into the hands of communities and the people
This week, on May 30th, the U.S. Department of Justice gave the green light to the merger of two mega-giant, multinational corporations and opened the door for further consolidation of the agrochemical and seed markets around the globe. Referred to as “a marriage made in hell,” the merger of transnational corporations Bayer and Monsanto follows the recent merger of the Dow and Dupont chemical companies and the consolidation of Syngenta and ChemChina before that. What used to be known as the “Big Six” dominant agrochemical companies around the world has rapidly become the “Big Four,” thus, reducing competition in the marketplace and further limiting options for the worlds’ farmers. Bayer and Monsanto are producers of genetically modified cotton, soybean and canola seeds and they make the pesticides that accompany their GMO products. A poll of farmers around the U.S. found that 93.7 percent of farmers are concerned that the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger will negatively impact independent farmers and farming communities (83.9 percent are very concerned/9.8 percent somewhat concerned).
This is the wrong direction for agriculture. While people around the world are increasingly asking questions about how their food is produced and wanting access to organically grown non-GMO options, this merger puts more power and influence in the hands of those controlling large-scale, monocrop, chemically dependent forms of agriculture. Our current conventional agricultural system is responsible for poisoning lands and water on five continents; causing illness, injury and death to people and communities, including farmworkers; triggering a decline in insects that are critical to pollination of food crops; and is responsible for land grabs from traditional and subsistence-farming communities worldwide. The myth is that more pesticides, fertilizers and genetically-modified crops are necessary to feed the growing population of the world. The reality is that this form of agriculture is causing devastating harm to the environment, wildlife and human health.
What is the solution? The Farmworker Association of Florida subscribes to the concept of Food Sovereignty – putting control of their food system in the hands of the people – which is the only ultimately sustainable solution. And, FWAF, as a member of La Via Campesina embraces the philosophy and practice of agroecology as both a return to and resurgence of ancestral techniques and knowledge of agricultural practice that is in harmony with the land, the water, the air and the people in dynamic interaction to produce food and herbs and medicinal plants that are healthy and regenerative for people and the planet.
We will continue to oppose and resist these mergers and other forms of corporate control over our lives and our food and will seek justice for people and the planet! Join us in this vitally important resistance.