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Geneva, 14 November 2011

Press release

GMOs in agriculture again a theme on UN-committee of human rights:

Violations of Human Rights as a result of the Genetic-Modified Soya-Monocultures -

- the Right to Food and Health – for the Argentinean Population, Farmers and Bee-Keepers

GRR wrote report for UN-committee Hearing in Geneva 14 November

The Argentine NGO GRR [Grupo de Reflexion Rural] and the founder of the international network Aktion GEN-Klage, Christiane Lüst, gave together a parallel report to the UN-committee for human rights of the United Nations against the Argentine government – on the consequences of a highly perturbing global development, the use of genetically modified GM-soya in Argentina. This seriously violates the economic, social and cultural rights of the Argentinean Population, Farmers and Bee-Keepers
Argentina in particular is one of the most affected countries worldwide by this development.

The international pact of human rights has been ratificated about 140 countries worldwide, also Argentina. All five years these countries have had to report in front of the UN-committee for economic, social and cultural human rights in Geneva about the situation of human rights in their country.

In Argentina, are used in soybean cultivation nearly one hundred percent genetically modified varieties. The country is the third largest supplier of soy products worldwide, behind Brazil and the United States. At the same time, an increasing number of hungry people have been reported in recent years.
Already in 2004 the soybeans crop growing took over 48% of the total arable land. Hundreds of thousands of  people have been expelled from their land. Poverty and malnutrition rose rapidly.
Undernourishment – previously unknown in Argentina – increased with the introduction of genetic engineering to 17%. In 1970 the proportion of people living below the poverty line used to be at 5%. In 2004 it already was up to 51%. The spraying of agrochemicals on soybean plantations from the air destroyed the crops of peasants, their chickens died and other animals suffered damage and there were birth defects. People suffered from severe nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and skin lesions because of the sprayed herbicides. Vegetables turned up malformed and lakes suddenly were full of dead fish (Agrar Info 160 September / October 2008 p. 3).

“The high demand in Asia has brought an unprecedented boost to the Argentine soybean production since the mid-90s – at the cost of crop diversity, animal husbandry, the environment and human health. The CFR study 'Stop the fumigation '(Paren de fumigar ) notes that small family farms in the soybean growing regions are surrounded by giant monocultures and are sprayed with glyphosate and so often forced to give up. ...... The people in the affected areas .... fought desperately for years that no Glyphosate rains fall on their fields, destroying the crops and putting their health at risk. ....... The contamination is seen as the result of a devastating export policy, based on the intensive soybean cultivation .... The soybean fields are green deserts that destroy jobs and depopulate rural areas.” („Sick Villages„ by Marcela Valente, 5.03.2009)

The GM agro-biotechnology accelerates the extinction of small farmers around the world. Deforestation, an increasing use of pesticides, destruction of livelihoods of indigenous peoples, small farmers and peasants, land concentration, slave labour, the rural exodus and increasing poverty in the countryside are the effects already abundantly demonstrated by the consequences of an agro-industrial model of transgenic monoculture.

We have great hopes that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights immediately help reverse the depopulation of our country (uprooting), the destruction of the cultures of the communities that are displaced by the imposition of GM industrial agriculture, land grabbing, hunger and health damage suffered by our people, and enforce the Argentinean’s rights that are as established in the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Therefore, we urge the government of Argentina:

· To restore our national dignity and denounce the soybean scheme and our imposed role as exporters of agricultural commodities either for forage or biodiesel for the developed countries.
· To stop the biotech experiments which find in the Argentinean people, over 40 million “guinea pigs”.
· To restore the national production of basic crops, based on our food sovereignty and on the promotion of local development.
· To promote colonization, in order to repopulate our territory with peasant communities and local producers of healthy food, whose methods do not compromise the environment.
· To establish state control again and reorganize the National Grain Commission in order to re-establish a low-price sector for the basic food of our people – for example, lentils, rice or dairy products which right now are no longer produced or their production suffers a severe crisis.
· To make sure that people can produce their own seed again, discover their lost genetic heritage, prohibiting the production, introduction, manipulation and growing of GMO and creating the basis for another country economic model, which targets food sovereignty and local development.

We ask the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to express their concern like just done to this theme to the governments of Germany, India, Colombia and Brazil – over the violations of the right to food, the dramatic poverty increase because of GM soya cultivation – and the right to health, integrity and self determination, which are dramatically violated through the use of GM soya in Argentina and to make also recommendations to the Argentine government on how to stop these violations to our most basic Human Rights immediately.

-GRR Grupo de Reflexion Rural: Ecologist organization, devoted to fighting the model of agro industrial and exporting agriculture in Argentina, promoting actively small scale development, local rural production and the peasant culture.

-Aktion GEN-Klage Gauting / Germany
Christiane Lüst


Federico Aliaga, Grupo de Reflexión Rural, Entre Ríos 85, Bella Vista, Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Tel: (+54 11) 4666-5327 / (+54 11) 156-271-7524
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christiane Lüst, Aktion GEN-Klage Berengariastr. 5, 82131 Gauting, W-Germany
Tel.: 0049 / 89 / 893 11 054
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.