Monsanto: hands off China’s food

Feature Story - 2009-04-28
For the Chinese, rice is life. That’s why we took to the streets of Beijing today and told Monsanto where to stick their GE seeds.

Greenpeace activists hold banners in Monsanto's Beijing office building.

On a hazy morning outside Monsanto's main office in the Chinese capital today Greenpeace China activists unfurled banners reading 'Monsanto: hands off China's food.'

Monsanto refused to talk to us. Our spokesperson was not allowed in to deliver an open letter to Monsanto, and Monsanto officials refused to meet us in the lobby of their building.

We are demanding that giant agrochemical firms, like Monsanto, stop pushing their GE technology in China.

GE food is a threat to agriculture, biodiversity and possibly our health too.

And in China companies such as Monsanto are threatening the nation's food sovereignty.

Monsanto patent plot

Big multi-national companies such as Monsanto are among several overseas organisations or institutions which hold patent rights on GE rice lines being developed in China.

We want them to come clean about their patent plot.

The commerical GE seed business has driven seed prices up and in some cases has elbowed non-GE seeds out of the market.

Agrochemical giants have shown how they love to squeeze profits out of struggling farmers by charging technology fees.

They have even sued farmers over patent rights.

No Monsanto in China

If GE rice was allowed to be commercially grown in China then it is these big multinationals that will effectively own China's rice bowl.

We are asking Monsanto and the other companies to get their GE hands off China's rice.

And we are urging the Chinese government to never say yes to GE rice.

Because rice is life. GE rice is not.

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