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Is Monsanto’s Gift of Hybrid Seeds a Trojan Horse?

June 2010

No one denies that Haiti needs seeds and support this planting season, as the population still faces steep challenges since January’s devastating earthquake. Many thousands have fled urban areas for the countryside, taxing already strained resources and causing many rural communities to re-purpose for food the seeds set aside for planting.

But is any seed a good seed? No, says Chavannes Jean-Baptiste and other Haitian activists. Chavannes is the executive director of Grassroots International partner the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP).

In a recent article by Dennis Sadowski that appears on, Chavannes called Monsanto’s donation of 475-tons of hybrid seeds a “a new earthquake.” He said the entry of Monsanto seed into Haiti was “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds … and on what is left of our environment in Haiti.” To read the whole article, click here.

Grassroots International has worked in Haiti for over 20 years, partnering with vibrant, Haitian-led community-based or grassroots organizations like the MPP. Years of bad development policies have left Haiti woefully dependent on food aid to feed its people.  Our partners have worked to re-establish Haiti’s vibrant agricultural sector, emphasizing locally grown and sustainable foods, reforestation and the human rights to land, water and food. These same groups are critical to the nation’s ability to recover from the devastating earthquake. To support this vital work, donate now.

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