GMOs: Fooling – er, "feeding" – the world for 20 years

Myths and outright lies about the alleged benefits of genetically engineered crops (GE crops or GMOs) persist only because the multinationals that profit from them have put so much effort into spreading them around. They want you to believe that GMOs will feed the world; that they are more productive; that they will eliminate the use of agrichemicals; that they can coexist with other crops, and that they are perfectly safe for humans and the environment. False in every case.

Myths and outright lies about the alleged benefits of genetically engineered crops (GE crops or GMOs) persist only because the multinationals that profit from them have put so much effort into spreading them around. They want you to believe that GMOs will feed the world; that they are more productive; that they will eliminate the use of agrichemicals; that they can coexist with other crops, and that they are perfectly safe for humans and the environment. False in every case.

Leaked ProSAVANA Master Plan confirms worst fears

Civil society groups have finally seen a leaked copy of the most recent version of the Master Plan for the ProSAVANA programme, dated March 2013. The copy confirms that the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique are secretly paving the way for a massive land grab in Northern Mozambique.

Civil society groups have finally seen a leaked copy of the most recent version of the Master Plan for the ProSAVANA programme, dated March 2013. The copy confirms that the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique are secretly paving the way for a massive land grab in Northern Mozambique.

Ugandan schoolboys reflect on landgrabbing

Ochen Solomon is one of four Ugandan schoolboys who wrote essays about the effects of land grabbing on the lives of their families and community as part of the annual Essay Contest for Children and Young People of African Descent 2013. This London-originated initiative encourages and supports educational development in children aged 7 to 16 years in Africa and across the African diaspora. Ochen and his schoolmates chose to read GRAIN's report, "Squeezing Africa Dry" from a list of documents on contemporary issues. The questions they had to address were: What are your views on the topic of land grabbing? What are your solutions to these challenges? What is your family, or people you know, doing about it? They then conducted their own independent research on their chosen topic, and then provided their perspective on it.

Ochen Solomon is one of four Ugandan schoolboys who wrote essays about the effects of land grabbing on the lives of their families and community as part of the annual Essay Contest for Children and Young People of African Descent 2013. This London-originated initiative encourages and supports educational development in children aged 7 to 16 years in Africa and across the African diaspora. Ochen and his schoolmates chose to read GRAIN's report, "Squeezing Africa Dry" from a list of documents on contemporary issues. The questions they had to address were: What are your views on the topic of land grabbing? What are your solutions to these challenges? What is your family, or people you know, doing about it? They then conducted their own independent research on their chosen topic, and then provided their perspective on it.

Karuturi guilty of tax evasion

The Kenyan government has found Karuturi Global Ltd, the world's biggest producer of cut roses, guilty of tax evasion. This is the first time an African government has brought a large multinational company to court for transfer mispricing through a fully public process.

The Kenyan government has found Karuturi Global Ltd, the world's biggest producer of cut roses, guilty of tax evasion. This is the first time an African government has brought a large multinational company to court for transfer mispricing through a fully public process.

The G8 and land grabs in Africa

The G8 countries are implementing a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in six African countries that will facilitate the transfer of control over African agriculture from peasants to foreign agribusiness.

The G8 countries are implementing a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in six African countries that will facilitate the transfer of control over African agriculture from peasants to foreign agribusiness.

Land ceilings: reining in land grabbers or dumbing down the debate?

Governments in a number of countries are trying to address concerns about land grabbing by closing their borders to foreign investors. Are these restrictions effective? Not really, says GRAIN. They give the impression that something is being done at the highest level and appeal to nationalist or pro-sovereignty sentiments. But they are very narrow approaches to a complex problem and often full of back doors and loopholes.

Governments in a number of countries are trying to address concerns about land grabbing by closing their borders to foreign investors. Are these restrictions effective? Not really, says GRAIN. They give the impression that something is being done at the highest level and appeal to nationalist or pro-sovereignty sentiments. But they are very narrow approaches to a complex problem and often full of back doors and loopholes.

Land grabbing for biofuels must stop

Biofuels production has pushed farming and forest communities off their land from Colombia to Sierra Leone to Indonesia, threatening livelihoods and food security. Meanwhile, biofuels are failing to achieve promised reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with some found to have a worse carbon footprint than conventional fossil fuel. Diverting precious farmland to the production of fuel for cars is plainly irresponsible. All the more so since these lands are often home to the very rural communities whose food systems provide the world with the models needed to reverse the environmental crisis that fossil fuels have provoked. EU biofuels mandates have already prompted companies to grab 17 million hectares of land around the world, a figure that could rise to over 40 million hectares by 2020.

Biofuels production has pushed farming and forest communities off their land from Colombia to Sierra Leone to Indonesia, threatening livelihoods and food security. Meanwhile, biofuels are failing to achieve promised reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with some found to have a worse carbon footprint than conventional fossil fuel. Diverting precious farmland to the production of fuel for cars is plainly irresponsible. All the more so since these lands are often home to the very rural communities whose food systems provide the world with the models needed to reverse the environmental crisis that fossil fuels have provoked. EU biofuels mandates have already prompted companies to grab 17 million hectares of land around the world, a figure that could rise to over 40 million hectares by 2020.

Interview with GRAIN on the ProSavana project

Imagine 14 million hectares – bigger than Switzerland and Austria combined – home to millions of Mozambican farming families practicing shifting cultivation. Now imagine a foreign consultant saying that all of this is empty land. A foreign company saying it will come to farm all of it. Yet another foreign company saying it will ship everything produced out of there. And the country's president agreeing to all of this, selling all 14 million hectares for a dollar per hectare.

Imagine 14 million hectares – bigger than Switzerland and Austria combined – home to millions of Mozambican farming families practicing shifting cultivation. Now imagine a foreign consultant saying that all of this is empty land. A foreign company saying it will come to farm all of it. Yet another foreign company saying it will ship everything produced out of there. And the country's president agreeing to all of this, selling all 14 million hectares for a dollar per hectare.

Brazilian megaproject in Mozambique set to displace millions of peasants

The Brazilian government and private sector are collaborating with Japan to push a large-scale agribusiness project in Northern Mozambique. The project, called ProSavana, will make 14 million hectares of land available to Brazilian agribusiness companies for the production of soybeans, maize and other commodity crops that will be exported by Japanese multinationals. This area of Mozambique, known as the Nacala Corridor, is home to millions of farming families who are at risk of losing their lands in the process.

The Brazilian government and private sector are collaborating with Japan to push a large-scale agribusiness project in Northern Mozambique. The project, called ProSavana, will make 14 million hectares of land available to Brazilian agribusiness companies for the production of soybeans, maize and other commodity crops that will be exported by Japanese multinationals. This area of Mozambique, known as the Nacala Corridor, is home to millions of farming families who are at risk of losing their lands in the process.

GM maize in Mexico: An irreversible path

The Mexican government is considering allowing the planting of 2.4 million hectares of genetically engineered maize, as requested by agribusiness giants Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and others. The Mexican Unión de Científicos Comprotmetidos con la Sociedad (UCCS), together with several international organisations including GRAIN, put out a report addressed to the Mexican government to stop this totally irresponsible act in the heart of the world's centre of diversity of this crop. You can download it here (pdf).

The Mexican government is considering allowing the planting of 2.4 million hectares of genetically engineered maize, as requested by agribusiness giants Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and others. The Mexican Unión de Científicos Comprotmetidos con la Sociedad (UCCS), together with several international organisations including GRAIN, put out a report addressed to the Mexican government to stop this totally irresponsible act in the heart of the world's centre of diversity of this crop. You can download it here (pdf).

Red alert! GMO avalanche in Mexico

Mexico is the world centre of origin and diversification of maize, one of four crucial food crops in world agriculture. Now the future of this crop is being put at grave risk by the impending approval of commercial planting of genetically engineered (GE) maize on 2.4 million ha in Mexico. What is being prepared is nothing less than a frontal attack on a crop that is vital to the survival of humanity and on the peoples who have stewarded it for millennia. This report discusses the situation and it connections to ongoing struggles in Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Mexico is the world centre of origin and diversification of maize, one of four crucial food crops in world agriculture. Now the future of this crop is being put at grave risk by the impending approval of commercial planting of genetically engineered (GE) maize on 2.4 million ha in Mexico. What is being prepared is nothing less than a frontal attack on a crop that is vital to the survival of humanity and on the peoples who have stewarded it for millennia. This report discusses the situation and it connections to ongoing struggles in Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Slideshow: Who's behind the land grabs?

A small number of people are taking over more and more of the world's farmlands, and the water that goes with it, leaving everyone else with less, or none at all. As the world plunges deeper into a food crisis, these new farmland lords will hold sway over who gets to eat and who doesn't and who profits and who perishes within the food system. To help pull back the curtain on the land grabbers, GRAIN has pieced together a slide show that tells a little about some of those who have been most actively pursuing or supporting farmland grabs.

A small number of people are taking over more and more of the world's farmlands, and the water that goes with it, leaving everyone else with less, or none at all. As the world plunges deeper into a food crisis, these new farmland lords will hold sway over who gets to eat and who doesn't and who profits and who perishes within the food system. To help pull back the curtain on the land grabbers, GRAIN has pieced together a slide show that tells a little about some of those who have been most actively pursuing or supporting farmland grabs.

A reflection on “the idea of a town” and on the reality of cities in an uncertain time

More people in cities than on the countryside? Three years ago, it was announced that the inhabitants of the world’s cities had outnumbered the inhabitants of the countryside. In its 2007 report, the UN Fund stated that 3 billion 300 million persons lived by then in urban milieus. One billion of them dwell in what is called slums. The same report forecasts that, if present tendencies continue, in 2030, 5 billion will be urbanites, 80% of them in so-called “developing countries” and adds “many of these urbanites will be poor”. When the UN says “poor”, it means miserable.  

More people in cities than on the countryside? Three years ago, it was announced that the inhabitants of the world’s cities had outnumbered the inhabitants of the countryside. In its 2007 report, the UN Fund stated that 3 billion 300 million persons lived by then in urban milieus. One billion of them dwell in what is called slums. The same report forecasts that, if present tendencies continue, in 2030, 5 billion will be urbanites, 80% of them in so-called “developing countries” and adds “many of these urbanites will be poor”. When the UN says “poor”, it means miserable.  

Land grabbing and food sovereignty in West and Central Africa

It is a long-standing tradition in many African countries to forbid the selling of land. When land is snapped up by large agribusiness interests in these countries, it is experienced as a brutal violation of this tradition, one that compromises the lives and livelihoods of entire generations to come. At a February 2012 workshop held by Synergie Paysanne, GRAIN, and the African Network for the Right to Food (RAPDA) in Ouidah, Benin, with the support of Bread for all, thirty or more participants representing small-farm organisations and NGOs active on the land grabbing issue in West and Central Africa came together to share their experiences and analysis. This article summarises the issues that were covered and the discussions that took place.

It is a long-standing tradition in many African countries to forbid the selling of land. When land is snapped up by large agribusiness interests in these countries, it is experienced as a brutal violation of this tradition, one that compromises the lives and livelihoods of entire generations to come. At a February 2012 workshop held by Synergie Paysanne, GRAIN, and the African Network for the Right to Food (RAPDA) in Ouidah, Benin, with the support of Bread for all, thirty or more participants representing small-farm organisations and NGOs active on the land grabbing issue in West and Central Africa came together to share their experiences and analysis. This article summarises the issues that were covered and the discussions that took place.

Why are the FAO and the EBRD promoting the destruction of peasant and family farming?

Social organisations say they are shocked and offended by a Wall Street Journal article written by the Director General of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which calls on governments and society to embrace corporations as the main engine for global food production. In a collective statement, the groups say the FAO is abandoning its mission by promoting the destruction of peasant farming and land grabbing by agribusiness.

Social organisations say they are shocked and offended by a Wall Street Journal article written by the Director General of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which calls on governments and society to embrace corporations as the main engine for global food production. In a collective statement, the groups say the FAO is abandoning its mission by promoting the destruction of peasant farming and land grabbing by agribusiness.