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12 Mar 2015

Agência Brasil

Brazil: Landless Movement occupies FuturaGene & Suzano Celulose GM eucalyptus research unit, alleging their introduction could cause health risks

“Landless protesters ransack GM eucalyptus nurseries”, 5 March 2015

Members of the Landless Movement (MST) staged…[on March 5]…a protest against the commercial release of a genetically modified strain of the eucalyptus tree...approximately a thousand women occupied a research unit in…São Paulo state, where FuturaGene and Suzano Celulose develop the genetically engineered species. Activist Camila Bonassa…said that a number of nurseries with growing GM eucalyptus seedlings were ransacked. In Brasília, activists occupied the offices of the National Technical Commission for Biosecurity (CTNBio), where a meeting was…held on the release of the genetically modified H421 strain. Scientists declared it would show higher productivity and would be used in the wood industry. According to MST, the GM eucalyptus tree consumes more water than natural plants and represents a risk to the production of honey in Brazil…[and]…that most of the honey is produced from eucalyptus., and…the introduction of the GM strain could cause bees to produce contaminated honey. That could lead to the constraints on Brazil's honey in the global market, not to mention possible health risks to both consumers and bees…Camila Bonassa…believes the demonstration at the FuturaGene's research unit is…“…an act in defense of food sovereignty and the production of healthy food,”…Agência Brasil tried to reach FuturaGene, Suzano Celulose and CTNBio, but received no responses up to the publication of this article.