The struggle against Monsanto and for organic and healthy non-genetically engineered food has been raging for several years now, with some areas (like most of Europe) succeeding and others having a much more difficult time evicting or the company or containing its influence.
Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops are now banned in 38 countries, but Argentina, much like Brazil on the South American continent, has been one of the unfortunate ones where Monsanto has set up shop (some believe for the long term).
If recent events are any indication, however, Monsanto has a fight on its hands in order to stay relevant in the country. After several months of protests, their plans for a controversial new GMO seed factory have been shut down by a fiercely determined movement of protesters.
Fuera Monsanto Movement Succeeds
Protests against Monsanto in Argentina have been marked by two emotionally charged words that encapsulate how many feel about the company: “Fuera, Monsanto (Monsanto, Get Out)!”
As reported on August 7 by the website Sustainable Pulse, the protesters scored a huge victory when Monsanto was finally forced to announce that it would dismantle a controversial seed plant in the town of Malvinas.
An unnamed Monsanto spokesperson said the decision was mostly financial according to the Pulse article: “The plant was designed to treat 3.5 million hectares of maize, however last year only 2.5 million hectares were sown.” Thus, he stated added “an investment of almost 1500 million makes no sense.”
The spokesperson also admitted that local blockades and protests in fact did play a part in the decision to tear down the plant, a rarity in today’s corporate world.
The plant would have been Monsanto’s second largest in Latin America, but the blockade has halted its construction for nearly four years, supported by a court order as Monsanto attempted to evict them, as well as protests against Monsanto by residents across the country.
Parts of Argentina have also been ravaged by birth defects due to the overuse of agrochemicals.
According to Sofia Gatica, one of the leaders of the blockade of the Monsanto plant, the protesters will remain on alert despite the announcement.
“It’s been almost three years that Monsanto has not been able to put a brick or a wire at the construction site,” she told Inf’OGM. “The company is leaving the field but does not yet recognize its defeat in this battle. We talked with those who have to dismantle what remains. We remain on alert and continue blocking, waiting to see what will happen. We want the site to now be devoted to organic and sustainable agriculture.”
For more on the situation, you can check out the full article on Sustainable Pulse by clicking here.