Home > Höhepunkte > Joint Declaration in Defense of our Biodiversity, Seed and Food Freedom – Resisting GMO Imperialism

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Defending our Seed and Food Sovereignty 


Seeds are the first link in the food chain. They embody our heritage and enfold the future evolution of life. It is our inherent duty and responsibility to protect our seeds and pass them on to future generations. The cultivation of seeds and their free exchange among farmers have been the basis for maintaining biodiversity and our food security. Today, our seed sovereignty is threatened by intellectual property rights and new GMO technologies that have transformed seeds from a commons shared by farmers, to a commodity under the control and monopoly of agribusiness corporations. To have control over seeds is to have control over our lives, our food and our freedom.

Over the last few decades, GMO crops have been imposed in countries all over the world, advertised as a solution to food insecurity and the malnutrition crisis. However, hunger, disease and malnutrition have increased, while biodiversity has declined and toxins have spread. GMO imperialism has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of small farmers and biodiversity in centers of origin. These centers of origin of biodiversity are the cradles of the world’s food supply, and the protection against plague, climate challenges, natural disasters or other hindrances to food production.

In Mexico, which is the center of origin of maize, just as in other centers of biodiversity, there has been a long struggle by society and organized communities against this GMO imperialism threatening the subsistence and culture of native peoples. To date, Mexican society has achieved a ban on the planting of GM maize in Mexico through a class action lawsuit filed against the companies Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta and Corteva Agriscience. This ban is still in force.

Recently, the Mexican government issued an executive order that proposes the gradual prohibition of the use of glyphosate and the use of GM maize in tortillas, a staple food. GMOs compromise access to healthy, sustainable, culturally appropriate foods free of genetically modified organisms. Faced with this decision, the U.S. government, based on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), has requested a dispute settlement panel to reject the order.

Mexico is the protector of the biocultural diversity developed over millennia, and shared by peasants around the world. Mexico therefore urgently requires our support and solidarity in the face of this GMO imperialism.

All over the world, citizens are rising against the unscientific, undemocratic, anti-ecological imposition of GMOs by corporations and the US government. The first generation of GMOs has failed. But corporations continue to impose gene-edited organisms, or new GMOs, in centers of diversity. They continue to shift their narrative towards framing nature and biodiversity as commodities for commercialization and patent monopolies.

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Agribusiness and biotech giants are attempting to bypass biosafety regulations by quietly making changes to GMO regulation around the world, in order to promote these new GMOs under new acronyms, such as NBTs (New Breeding Techniques), NGTs (New Genomic Techniques), or TEAs (Techniques of Assisted Evolution). These new GMOs have been silently dovetailing into different countries’ existing agricultural legislation, with the aim still being patent monopolies in the hands of the big chemical and biotechnology giants.

Resisting GMO Imperialism 

We exposed the failure of GMOs and stopped the spread of Bt cotton, in India, Golden Rice in the Philippines, Bt. Brinjal and GM Banana in India.

We will continue to resist GMO imperialism.

We demand an end to the deception and  irreversible contamination of our biodiversity with GMOs, and now new GMOs, in parts of the world which are recognized as a center of origin and center of biodiversity of those same crops, which represents a threat to the future of biodiversity at a global level.

We demand that governments across the world stop these new GMOs that directly threaten the survival of ecological and biodiversity-based food and farming systems and native agrodiversity, by-passing regulations and safety checks set in place for GMOs.

This deregulation would allow gene edited crops to:

  • Be commercialized with no environmental or consumption safety testing
  • Require no labeling
  • Have little to no traceability
  • Be free from public disclosure of gene edited organisms
  • Mass deregulation
  • Be patented without disclosure

We say no to patenting all over the world. Especially through these new GMOs that are leaving farmers, and citizens completely in the dark as to what is in their food and are an attempt to subvert sovereign governments, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and biosafety laws, with their imposition.

We are outraged that the biotech industry has claimed that their gene edited products, including seed, plants, microorganism, and animals, are to be considered the same as their conventional counterparts. This deregulation of old and new GMOs absolves the biotech industry from any responsibility and is a continued attack on food sovereignty.

We call on people, movements and governments across the world to:

  • Reject  these technologies that are rooted in the long history of imperialism and monopolization.
  • Stop the privatization of nature and prevent biopiracy for profits for corporations.

This commercialisation of nature could radically change the genetic fabric of life, putting into direct risk a host of ecological and biological processes that we depend on.

We, a convergence of movements, stand in defense of our biocultural diversity and food heritage across the world and in resistance to old  GMOs and new GMOs.

In signing this declaration, we call on governments, citizens and movements in each one of our countries, cities, towns and communities to continue our struggle in defense of life, diversity and freedom. 


Also read:

Open Letter from Diverse Women for Diversity to World Leaders

Campaign: GMOs must not be deregulated