Women denounce loss of water, impacts from toxic agrochemical spraying and monoculture timber plantations, and future use of GE trees
By MST Communication Group in Bahia
Photos: MST Communication
Note: In 2015, the Brazilian Biosafety Commission gave Suzano-owned FuturaGene permission to develop and sell genetically engineered eucalyptus seedlings. They have not yet begun to do so and the MST (Landless Workers Movement) has denounced GE trees saying they will never allow them to be planted in Brazil. Suzano/FuturaGene have publicly stated that they have not yet finished developing GE trees for planting.
(Translated from Portuguese with Google Translate)
At dawn on Monday (5 March), more than 1,000 landless rural workers took the helm of the Suzano paper and pulp mill, located in Mucuri, in the extreme south of Bahia.
Women report problems related to the water crisis in the municipality, caused by large-scale production of eucalyptus; aerial spraying in the areas of Suzano; monocultures; and use of transgenic seeds in productive management.
Two points of the complaint deserve special mention. The first is the spraying process that is prohibited by law in some municipalities of Espirito Santo. According to the report presented by the subcommittee that discusses the topic in the Chamber of Deputies in Santa Catarina, about 70% of the pesticides applied by airplanes do not reach the target. They are thrown directly into the surroundings, urban areas, rivers, animals, properties dedicated to organic farming, as well as causing the mortality of insects important for pollination of plants, such as bees and butterflies.
Another element of the complaint, which is highlighted by the occupation, is the unrestrained planting of eucalyptus. Landless women say that monocultures have caused a major water crisis in the region because of the high consumption of trees, which have been planted without social responsibility and for financial purposes, have dried up freshwater springs.
For Maristela Cunha, from the MST state direction, you can not accept a company that does not respect the environment or people. “We are here to say that we do not accept eucalyptus monocultures in our region. We want to solve the water problem in Mucuri already and that our guidelines are met, “he emphasizes.
The occupation is part of the National Day of Struggle of the Landless Women, which provides for the mobilization of thousands of workers from the countryside and the city in every country with the objective of rejecting the coup government of Michel Temer, as well as all measures of his portfolio . With the motto “Who does not move, do not feel the chains that hold him”, the Journey in Bahia denounces privatizations, violence, unproductive latifundia and the construction of the Popular Agrarian Reform, with a focus on the struggle for democracy.
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