Monday, 08 April 2013 16:20 Tory Field and Beverly Bell
Bordering an interstate highway in Arkansas, a giant billboard with a photo of a stoic-looking farmer watches over the speeding traffic. He’s staring into the distance against the backdrop of a glowing wheat field, with the caption “America’s Farmers Grow America.” It’s an image to melt all our pastoral hearts.
Until we read the small print in the corner: “Monsanto.”
The maker of Agent Orange, Monsanto’s former motto used to be, “Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible.” Today its tag line is “Committed to Sustainable Agriculture, Committed to Farmers.” Its website claims the company helps farmers “be successful [and] produce healthier foods… while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment.” It even boasts of the corporation’s dedication to human rights.
Behind the PR gloss is a very different picture. Via Campesina, the world’s largest confederation of farmers with member organizations in 70 countries, has called Monsanto one of the “principal enemies of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty for all peoples.” Via Campesina members also target Monsanto as a driving influence behind land grabs, forcing small farmers off their land and out of work. The agribusiness giants also contribute to climate change and other environmental disasters, outgrowths of industrial agriculture. ….(read more).