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9-Misc: Monsanto engaged in school education in Brazil



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TITLE:  Monsanto and public schools
SOURCE: GM-FREE BRAZIL, Bulletin #15
DATE:   20 Apr 2005

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Monsanto and public schools

The company is now engaged on children education and, supported by the
Ministry of Culture, developed a “social” project to take its doctrine into
public schools

After its successful lobbying campaign to liberate the transgenics in
Brazil, that ended up with the approval of the Biosafety Bill at the
Deputies Chamber, followed by the president’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
signature of the law, now the giant company Monsanto is engaged on an
attempt to rule the subjects of agriculture and environment at public
schools in Brazil.

Two weeks ago, the company proudly announced its new partnership with a
publishing house that foresees the distribution of didactic material
concerning these two disciplines to a number of public schools in the
country. The project was presented as a programme of “social
responsibility”, but obviously, it means much beyond that, and it surely
aims to gain future consumers of GMOs (genetic modified organisms).

The aggravating circumstance is that the project has the support of the
Ministry of Culture through the federal law of culture incentive.

According to Monsanto, high school students from 5.049 public schools from
the states of Mato Grosso, Bahia, Goiás, Rio Grande do Sul and Distrito
Federal will be enrolled on the project. Moreover, 560 junior and high
school teachers, educators and instructors are receiving “information,
support textbooks and additional training courses regarding two of the most
important matters of our present reality: agriculture and environment”.

At some point the leaflet “Horizonte Geográfico”, Monsanto’s partner on the
project, instructs the teachers to promote a debate among the students
around the subject “O grão que conquistou o Brasil” (“The grain that
captivated Brazil”, in English, a reference to the Soya seed. Is that what
it is important on children’s education?

Monsanto was not satisfied in sponsoring the smuggling of its transgenic
seeds from Argentina to Brazil, neither with its lobbying campaign to vote
the Biosafety Bill on its terms, not even with its campaign of deceiving
advertising, and now will use public schools to reach thousands of kids and
promote its doctrine.

We hereby denounce this absurd and request you all to write a letter to the
Ministry of Culture, asking for this project to be reviewed. The letters
should be sent to the following electronic addresses:

Gilberto Gil Minister of Culture
cgm@minc.gov.br
Adolpho Netto Cabinet Executive
anetto@minc.gov.br
Luiz Artur Toríbio Communications Assessor
turiba@minc.gov.br


GM-FREE BRAZIL - An international periodical news & analysis bulletin on the
development of the struggle against GMOs in Brazil. Published by Assessoria
e Serviços a Projetos em Agricultura Alternativa (AS-PTA). Editor: Sabrina
Petry. The Campaign For a GM-Free Brazil is a collective of Brazilian NGOs
and social movements. AS-PTA main office: Rua da Candelária, 9/6o / Centro,
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Phone: 0055-21-2253-8317 Fax: 0055-21-2233-363
E-mail: imprensa@aspta.org.br

Should you have any comments, suggestions or questions, feel free to contact
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