On Tuesday November 17, PAN and our partners at Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) will launch the video Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers: From the Frontlines of GM Agriculture.
This animated short, launching in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, shines a bright light on how fragile and unjust so many of our interconnected global systems are. The video focuses on genetically modified (GM, also known as GMO) seeds and the story of their global impacts.
A truly global story
Many who are acutely impacted by COVID-19 — food- and farmworkers laboring in close proximity with few protections, community-scale farmers who have lost purchasing contracts in the midst of business shutdowns, and communities of color who make up a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases and deaths — are also on the frontlines of the harmful impacts of this chemical-intensive form of agriculture.
Urgent conversations are underway about the deep changes needed in farming systems and how best to press for them right now, when it’s so clear how brittle and inequitable the industrial food system is. Join us for one such conversation at 12pm PT on Tuesday November 17; we'll be hosting an online launch party, panel discussion, and screening of Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers. RSVP here.
Though COVID-19 is novel, injustice in food and agriculture is nothing new. For years now, pesticide industry giants have peddled their genetically engineered technology kits: modified seeds and the herbicides that go with them — and communities on the frontlines of GM agriculture have born the brunt of this dangerous system. That’s why PAN and HAPA have teamed up with partners from around the world to trace the global story of GM agriculture through Seedkeepers and Truth Tellers.
In Hawaii, we see the impact of experimental research facilities developing and testing the seeds modified to withstand pesticides. We see pesticide drift and runoff. Our coastal ecosystems and communities are impacted, especially those in close proximity to test fields. – Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action
Harmful, accelerating "pesticide treadmill"
Just as farmers, workers, and rural communities predicted when the floodgates first opened wide for GM seeds, weed resistance to the herbicides that these seeds are modified to withstand is accelerating fast. Around the world, GM agriculture is driving dramatic increases in herbicide use to combat these resistant “superweeds.”
GMOs are yet another technology that furthers the industrialisation of agriculture, making farmers and consumers dependent on a limited and expensive range of corporate products. – BioWatch South Africa
From Bayer spraying pesticides near elementary schools in Hawai'i, to farmers in Senegal lacking seed choice as multinational corporations dominate the seed market, the story of GM agriculture looks different around the world — but we’re all affected. Produced by PAN Asia Pacific and co-written by partners across the globe, this animated short showcases just how connected our struggles for a more just food and farm system are.