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28 Jun 2012

Sue Branford, for LAB

Paraguay: agribusiness and biotech companies win out

On 8 June 2012 the UGP (Unión de Gremios de la Producción), which is a body representing the big farmers, published...a petition entitled "12 arguments for getting rid of Lovera"...director of SENAVE (The National Service for the Quality and Health of Vegetables and Seeds)...The trigger for the protest was Lovera's refusal to authorise the cultivation of Bt cotton in Paraguay...produced by...Monsanto...Peasant organisations in India and South Africa, where Bt cotton is widely cultivated, have been very critical of it, saying that it has created far more problems than it has solved...On 15 June 11 peasants and six policemen died in a tragic clash in Curuguaty, which is where the landowner Bas Riquelme has a 70,000 hectare farm...landless peasants [had] occupied part of the land Riquelme claims...the deaths provided a sufficient pretext for the [impeachment] against President Lugo...[T]he agricultural lobby...backed...the impeachment...The way is now open for the further expansion of...the whole biotechnology industry in Paraguay...