Five Questions Monsanto Needs to Answer about its Seed Donation to Haiti

Farm Bill

Monsanto has donated $4 million in seeds to Haiti, sending 60 tons of conventional hybrid corn and vegetable seed, followed by 70 more tons of corn seed last week with an additional 345 tons of corn seed to come during the next year. Yet the number one recommendation of a recent report by Catholic Relief Services on post-earthquake Haiti is to focus on local seed fairs and not to introduce new or “improved” varieties at this time.

Some tough questions need to be asked and answered before we’ll know whether or not Monsanto’s donation will help or hurt long-term efforts to rebuild food sufficiency and sovereignty in Haiti. Here are five of them:

Agricultural development is critical for Haiti and was even before the earthquake. Lambi Fund of Haiti, a partner organization of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), has been working with rural communities to create indigenous seed banks, building expertise in farming techniques and using environmentally-friendly methods to renew depleted Haitian soil.

Advocates for common sense food aid, including AJWS, are asking Congress to spend the $150 million dollars requested by the Obama Administration for Food Aid to Haiti on resources that will help Haiti feed itself for the long-term. You can make your voice heard by signing this petition.

Monsanto’s donation – just like the US government’s in-kind food aid donations – should empower rather than dis-empower the rural communities working to grow food for their country over the long term. More to the point, the communities most affected by these donations should decide whether they want this aid at all and if so, what they want and when they want it. It’s unclear in this case if Monsanto or anyone else has asked them.

Leave a Comment

View Comments

  1. Monday, May 17th, 2010
    very thought provoking! i think these are all essential questions the haitian rural communities need answers to before they can even consider accepting a single seed from mosanto.

    great work!
  2. Lew
    Monday, May 17th, 2010
    Why do people like this who don't know the first thing about GM Seed, write this stuff. all your questions are already answered, this article is exactly why Monsanto will never change because dummies have unfounded outlandish claims. Do your homework before you write...
  3. Jeff
    Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
    The first question you asked is not something Monsanto can answer. You're really asking it of Haitians. Otherwise I totally agree with all these questions.
  4. Thursday, May 20th, 2010
    Hi Timi, Many people had questions just like you about Monsanto's seed donation. You can find more answers and information on the seed donation on our blog. 5 Answers On Monsanto's Haiti Seed Donation
    Thank you,

    Kathleen Manning
    Monsanto Company
  5. kerstin
    Friday, May 21st, 2010
    I don't understand how anyone with a conscience could work at monsanto.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OfO2IB6xVw&feature=related
Top