One of the most destructive trends in agriculture in the last twenty years is the expansion of soy [or soy] plantations in the southern cone of Latin America. If they do not resist it, they are likely to face serious impacts: local food production will be undervalued, labor will be evicted and communities will be displaced, or they will be exposed to increasing levels of pesticides.
One of the most destructive trends in agriculture in the last twenty years is the expansion of soy [or soy] plantations in the southern cone of Latin America. If they do not resist, they are likely to face serious impacts: local food production will be undervalued, labor will be evicted and communities will be displaced, or they will be exposed to increasing levels of pesticides. Foreign agribusinesses will strengthen their control of sugar. Below we analyze the confluence between the advance of genetically modified sugar cane and the transformations of the global sugar industry.
In a span of just 10 years, almost all of the Argentine pampas and huge expanses of forests and agricultural lands in Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay were turned into green deserts, soy monocultures.  The soy boom in Latin America was, and continues to be, a great lode for agribusiness. For the small group of global cereal giants that dominate the international oilseed trade and commercial food market, it provided cheap and abundant production sites where they could expand and consolidate their global activities. Those same companies, such as Cargill, ADM and Bunge, also made billions of dollars from the sale of required chemical fertilizers, while other large foreign companies, such as AGCO and John Deere, made huge profits from the sale of tractors. . Monsanto and Syngenta made record profits from the sale of their genetically modified seeds and chemical pesticides.
The soy invasion was based on a production model that revolves around the use of genetically modified seeds to support huge doses of chemical herbicides. Monsanto provided the seeds and herbicides while a new generation of agricultural companies, run primarily by urban entrepreneurs, leased or absorbed large tracts of land and managed production. Once this model was applied, small farmers and peasants were driven out and local communities devastated by rural exodus and contamination with chemicals.
As for the large transnational agribusiness companies, the experience with soy in the southern cone showed them how to profit from the expansion of industrial agriculture in developing countries and opened the door to a new era of conquest. Sugar, a crop with a long history of environmental and cultural destruction and crude human exploitation, could well be the next promoter of a soy-style boom, especially since there are already new transgenic sugar crops in the field. (see Table 1).
A new world map of sugar
Sugar can be obtained from a wide range of crops, but today most of the world's sugar supply comes from sugar cane. From there, more than 70 percent of the sugar in the world is extracted. Sugarcane is planted on some 15 million hectares in more than 100 countries in the tropical and subtropical region. The second most important source of sugar is beet, which is grown mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, on 10 million hectares in at least 50 countries. But the map of world production of these crops is changing and much of them is transferred and extended to new lands.
Table 1: Approvals for sugar beet
Monsanto and KWS Roundup Ready H7-1
Three trends altered the geographical distribution of sugar production. The first was the emergence of Brazil as the world's largest sugar producer and by far the world's largest sugar exporter. About three-quarters of the expansion in sugarcane production in the last ten years occurred in Brazil, where the sugarcane acreage grew by an average of 300,000 hectares per year between 2000 and 2007 - a rate equivalent to the expansion of soybean cultivation in the country.  In 2008, the sugarcane acreage registered a notable increase of 14 percent. A considerable proportion of Brazil's sugarcane production goes to the local ethanol industry, but much of it continues to flow to the world market (see Figure 3). Currently, more than half of the world's raw sugar exports come from Brazil — compared to 7 percent in the early 1990s.
Despite the growth of this huge low-cost producer, until recently the old structure of world production remained almost intact due to the old protectionist systems for domestic production in the European Union and the United States, and also due to trade agreements. preferential between Europe and its former colonies, which continue to depend on exporting sugar. However, a second trend affecting the sugar industry - the sugar reform of the European Union - has come to break this old structure.
When Australia, Brazil and Thailand challenged the national subsidies and protections of the European Union sugar industry in the WTO, the European Union seized the opportunity and unilaterally overturned the old Sugar Protocol that it had with its former colonies and introduced important changes in its regimes. member nations. The protection quotas for European Union producers are maintained, but have been reduced, such that production within the European Union will be increasingly concentrated in some important sugar producing regions. Another change is that the European Union will no longer promote its practice of “unfair trade” [or dumping as it is known], in the world market with its subsidized sugar. The European Union market was also opened to duty-free imports from the least developed countries (LDCs) and from the countries that signed the Economic Partnership Agreements. This means that the former colonies will no longer be able to sell at the protected prices of the European Union, making exports to the European Union market uneconomical for everyone except those who produce at lower costs. 
It is expected that as the European Union sugar reforms come into force in 2009, the EU will suddenly shift from a net exporter - dumping millions of tonnes of subsidized sugar onto the world market - to a net importer. This is already generating a move to relocate sugar production, taking it out of countries such as Fiji, Île de la Réunion and much of the Caribbean, where production and transportation costs are high, to place it in countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia and Mozambique, where production costs are low and there is favorable access to the European Union, in terms of trade and transport agreements. Furthermore, outside the European Union, large sugar refineries, hungry for cheap sources of sugar to replace European Union exports, are now looking around for alternative supply routes.
The third decisive trend altering the map of world sugar production is the monumental rise in agrofuels. Sugarcane is considered one of the most profitable raw materials in ethanol production, if not the most profitable. The global ethanol market is growing rapidly as several major markets for transportation fuels enforce mandates that require certain percentages of ethanol mixed with petroleum (or are about to do so). Before the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse in oil prices, the sugar industry was inundated with investments aimed at establishing new ethanol factories. Lately these investments have slowed down and many projects have been stopped or closed. Still, government mandates are enough to put a lot of money into ethanol production. In fact, there are already numerous large-scale ethanol production projects, combined with sugar plantations, coming into operation all over the world and pushing sugar production to new areas. There are also investments in technology that could open up new markets for sugarcane-based biofuels.  In sum, the growing market for biofuels has greatly increased the demand for sugar and in turn, this demand expands world sugar production (see Graphs 1 and 2).
Time for agribusiness
Large agribusinesses are the ones who are introducing these changes in world sugar production and they are the ones that pocket the profits. The main European sugar companies have taken advantage of the relative reforms of the European Union, for example, to consolidate their control over production quotas and to produce overseas, in areas with lower costs and preferential access to the European Union. 
But the big players in the sugar industry in the South, which traditionally focused on domestic production, also began to expand overseas. For example, Thailand's largest sugar company, Mitr Phol, is establishing activities in Laos with a view to exporting to the European Union, through a joint venture with Tate & Lyle, while the Colombian sugar company Manuelita has expanded to Peru and Brazil. . Sudan and Ethiopia have become particularly important targets for investors from the South, investments that their governments welcome with open arms. Sudan's government says it wants to expand sugarcane production in the country from less than 200,000 planted hectares to 1.7 million hectares. 
There are also new players in the sugar industry, especially in ethanol production. The giants of the grain trade, which until recently weren't heavily involved in producing sugar cane or sugar beets, are now aggressively joining the industry. Cargill, which already controls 15 percent of the world's sugar trade, recently invested heavily in sugarcane production in Brazil and Mexico, and is undertaking joint refinery and / or ethanol projects in Syria, India and El Salvador. Even ADM, America's corn ethanol king, made its first major investment in Brazilian sugarcane in 2008, a collaborative project spanning two sugar / ethanol factories and large-scale plantations. The same is true of energy and natural resource companies based in the North and South, whether they are large established players - such as BP - or smaller capitalists in the mining sector.
The scenario then is that of a great expansion in world sugar production, concentrated geographically and in the hands of a small number of companies that act vertically integrated in global production and distribution chains.
Brazil's sugar boom
It is in Brazil where the trends in world sugar production are most felt. There, the sugar industry is increasingly concentrated in a few families, known in Brazil as the sugar barons, and in a few foreign companies, which usually act in association with each other. With the flood of foreign investment into Brazil's sugar sector — $ 9 billion just to produce ethanol in 2006 — the sugar barons have consolidated their positions and restructured their companies in order to capture those investment flows. Some even put their family businesses on the Brazilian stock exchange. Foreign investors often grab majority stakes or minority shares, leaving sugar barons to oversee agricultural operations — although foreign investors are beginning to take a more dominant role (see Table 2). Foreign-owned mills processed 12 percent of Brazilian sugar cane during the 2007-2008 period, while at the beginning of the decade they processed less than 1 percent. If the mills in which foreign capital have the minority share are included, this figure jumps to 23 percent.  Currently, it is possible to identify only a few conglomerates - transnational corporate networks and sugar families - that control a large part of that industry. The top three are made up of Cosan, Crystalsev and Copersucar, which, according to Maurílio Biagi Filho, Crystalsev's director, own about a third of Brazil's sugar mills. 
With the sugar boom in Brazil, production moved from the northeast of the country to the south-central, where the terrain is more suitable for mechanized production. Millions of hectares of El Cerrado, a region of Brazil comparable to the Amazon for the richness of its biodiversity, were cut down to make room for new sugarcane production.  Mills in this region are now responsible for 90 percent of Brazil's sugar production, of which about 60 percent is converted to ethanol.  The region has become the power base of the industry and, with strong support from the government of President Lula, the sugar barons of the area - with strong political connections - and their foreign partners, were easily able to impose their expansion plans, and they are converting vast areas of agricultural land and forest to the production of sugar cane. And while the global financial crisis slows things down, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, Brazil's National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), and the Inter-American Development Bank have provided funds to enable expansion and industry consolidation.  Several private investment funds were also recently established, with billions of dollars earmarked for the purchase of land in Brazil to convert it to sugarcane production. One of them is the Radar Propriedades fund, managed by Cosan, the Calyx fund, managed by Louis Dreyfus, and the BrasilAgro fund, managed by Cresud, a company owned by Argentine soybean baron Eduardo Elsztain. Not surprisingly, conflicts over land are increasing in places where sugarcane is expanding, alongside violence inflicted on those who dare to resist. 
The production model that the sugar conglomerates in Brazil seek to apply is large-scale and vertically integrated. Three-quarters of the land planted with sugar cane in the country is owned or rented by sugar mills, and the 60,000 independent producers in Brazil, with farms of less than 150 hectares, represent only 27 percent. of national production.  Working conditions on sugar plantations are notorious for their brutality and as the power of the companies increases, they have been able to exploit more and more day laborers, who are generally paid by the amount of cane that they cut. The average tons of cane cut per day in the São Paulo region has doubled from 5-6 tons in the 1980s to 10-12 tons today — which is estimated to represent 12,000 daily blows of the machete.  Since 2000, sugarcane cutters in the region increased their productivity by 11.9 percent, but they increased only 9.8 percent in the same period.  Workers die of exhaustion every year and forced labor continues to be a widespread practice in the industry. The Pastoral Land Commission reports that in 2008, 2,164 workers were released from forced labor conditions in Brazil's sugarcane plantations. 
The production model also becomes more industrial — machines, new cultivars, and chemical inputs supplied by agribusinesses. The sugarcane boom is the main reason why Brazil's pesticide market quadrupled between 1992 and 2006, reaching a value of more than $ 5 billion in 2007.  It is also generating a new, Huge and growing market for foreign companies that control the Brazilian tractor market.  Mechanization reduces the need for labor, partly freeing sugar companies from workers' demands and growing international criticism of working conditions on Brazil's sugar plantations. It is also a way to avoid the common practice of burning the fields before manual harvesting, which carries great weight as an argument for the environmental merits of Brazilian ethanol. In fact, the “sustainability” criterion elaborated by the ethanol importers of the European Union and their Brazilian suppliers, requires mechanization and, in this sense, the Brazilian government introduced in 2007 a protocol that will imply eliminating the burning of fields in 20 percent of the sugarcane farms for 2010, and 100 percent for 2020.
In sum, the expansion of sugarcane in Brazil is characterized by great corporate control, rapid and large-scale conversion of land, and an industrial production model based on the exploitation of labor and that agribusinesses supply modern machinery and supplies.  Brazil may be the epicenter of the global sugarcane production boom, but other countries that follow the same agribusiness model are also joining. Indeed, on the international scene, Brazil has now become the main proponent of ethanol from sugar cane, providing Brazilian financing, investments and technology to all the countries of the world that are involved in producing it.
Monsanto dabbles in Brazilian sugar and more
A key part of the history of the expansion of Brazilian sugar production was the development of varieties for ethanol production that were sought to be adapted to the south-central region. Most of these varieties were developed by the Canavieira Technology Center (CTC), a semi-private institution that was controlled by Copersucar but now belongs to a group that is among the main sugar factories in the country. CTC used to collect royalties from non-members, but now denies all access to its varieties to those outside its structure, which is equivalent to more than half of the country's sugar production. [twenty]
However, a new actor has just appeared on the scene and is taking away from CTC's dominant position. CanaVialis, the world's largest private sector sugarcane growing company, was created in 2003 by several former public producers with financing from the Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim, along with a sister company, Allelyx, dedicated to sugarcane biotechnology. Similarly to CTC, CanaVialis works for the main sugar companies, who contract it to develop varieties specifically for them. CanaVialis recently signed a $ 25 million agreement with Cosan to install 10 research stations and develop varieties of sugar cane. It also developed varieties of sugarcane for the Odebrecht cane plantation in Angola. CanaVialis says its varieties now cover at least 15 percent of Brazil's sugarcane acreage. In Brazil, then, the cultivation of sugar cane has become a potentially profitable enterprise, something that still does not happen elsewhere.
Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, did not ignore the play. In 2007, it partnered with CanaVialis and Allelyx to develop genetically modified sugarcane varieties resistant to glyphosate (Roundup Ready). Then, in late 2008, he decided to buy both companies for $ 280 million, suddenly catapulting Monsanto into the position of the world's largest sugarcane growing company.
Monsanto is clear that it intends to use CanaVialis's commercial customer network and its germplasm collection as a platform for the widespread introduction of transgenic sugar cane. Sugarcane, unlike soybeans, is perennial, and farmers typically replant every five years or so and then use cuttings, not seeds. So Monsanto plans to sell its varieties following the CanaVialis model — working through contracts and partnerships with the major mills, which will use the varieties on their own plantations producing under contract with their suppliers. The same model could then easily be applied outside of Brazil. CanaVialis has already worked on variety development in Angola and California, and sugarcane varieties from south-central Brazil are grown in all parts of the world, including Sudan by Kenana Sugar, the world's largest integrated company in sugar.
Part of Monsanto's strategy to promote GM sugarcane has already been facilitated by Roundup Ready sugar beet varieties. These varieties were introduced in the United States and Canada in 2008 and Monsanto has regulatory approval to export them to large markets, such as the European Union and Japan. Similar approvals could be granted to Roundup Ready sugarcane since, in both cases, the refined product is said to be free of transgenic material. This, at least, is what the proponents of GM sugar argue. In Australia, where both Dow and Syngenta collaborate with major public research institutes on transgenic sugar cane, the sugar industry has already formed a lobby to facilitate the introduction of transgenic sugar cane - the Sugar Cane Genetic Technology Group. , which is modeled after the US GM sugar beet lobby. [twenty-one]
GMO sugarcane deserts
As with all other transgenic crops introduced so far on the market, the impending first generation of transgenic cane will include modifications that make it resistant to the glyphosate herbicide, Monsanto's Roundup. As with GM soybeans, the supposed advantage of these GM cane crops is that they simplify things for large-scale industrial production. Transgenic soybeans were successful in Latin America because they made it easier for agribusiness investors concerned only with making quick profits on large tracts of fertile land. The same will happen with transgenic sugar cane. The Roundup Ready hardiness trait makes weed control down to simply drenching fields with glyphosate every so often.
It is a tailor-made system for the large sugar multinationals, which are expanding their vertical control over the global production and distribution of sugar. It is perfectly adapted to their strategies of increasing mechanization, in Brazil and elsewhere, and will facilitate the conversion of more agricultural land to corporate production of sugar cane, which will be used primarily for ethanol. Small-scale, independent producers will be completely excluded from this system, and vast areas of land that are [or could be] occupied by peasants and used for local food production will be transformed into green deserts of transgenic sugar cane. .  The Brazilian government claims to have identified another 44 million hectares for sugarcane production - about six times the current sugarcane area (which already represents a third of total production). [2. 3]
Figure 1. World Sugar Production, 1950-2008 (million tons)
The environmental and health impacts of a transgenic sugarcane boom would also be severe. Although Roundup Ready sugarcane could simplify herbicide applications, the experience of Roundup Ready soybeans in Latin America shows that it encourages the abuse of pesticides.  As crops are genetically modified to tolerate high levels of glyphosate, fields are drenched with the product, which is often sprayed from airplanes, not caring in the least about the impact on neighboring communities. During the approval process for its Roundup Ready sugar beet in the United States, Monsanto successfully lobbied the US Environmental Protection Agency to increase the glyphosate residues allowed in sugar beet roots by 5,000 percent.  Roundup (glyphosate) is a toxic herbicide that poses serious risks to human health, even at low levels. 
Also, Roundup Ready is sure to encourage the use of other herbicides. In sugarcane, the common practice of no-till agriculture with mechanized production is to rely on glyphosate to destroy the remaining stubble when it is time to replant. As this practice will no longer be possible when the stubble is tolerant to glyphosate, no-till sugarcane cultivation will surely require more herbicides. The growing presence of glyphosate-tolerant weeds and Roundup Ready corn and soybeans, especially in Latin America, will also force Roundup Ready sugarcane industrial enterprises to use additional herbicides. To solve those problems with its soybeans, Monsanto says it will soon introduce a Roundup Ready soybeans that are also resistant to the herbicide dicamba — so that both herbicides can be sprayed and the destruction of glyphosate-tolerant weeds is ensured. 
Rural workers are often the most affected by pesticide applications. Jorge Chullén, from the International Union of Food Workers, says that the problem of pesticides for sugarcane plantation workers has intensified in recent years, especially as there is a growing trend for mills to outsource to contractors the application of pesticides, among other tasks in the field, thus avoiding their responsibilities towards workers. Chullén describes the working conditions in these outsourced activities as "horrible" and says that the practice is further deteriorating the safety conditions of day laborers. Thus, transgenic sugarcane could deal a double blow to workers - increasing their exposure to pesticides and contributing to a mechanization process that eliminates jobs in the sector. 
Figure 2. World fuel ethanol production (mm of liters / year), and Figure 3. Land in Brazil / sugarcane cultivation
The other side of sugar
Sugarcane production has become so industrialized and integrated into the business food system that other forms of production and use are often not recognized. But the communities have totally different — and important — crops based on sugar cane. When unrefined and chemically treated, sugarcane is actually a highly nutritious crop, rich in vitamins and minerals. It provides an important food source that enters a vast small-scale food economy — from panela makers in India to street vendors selling cane juice in nearly every tropical country in the world.
In Colombia, communities have a long tradition of organizing what they call “community sugar mills,” in which they process the juice from their local sugar cane into a concentrated product called panela. As in other parts of Latin America, local peasants and farmers in Colombia maintain their own varieties of sugar cane, adapted to their land and to the manufacture of panela. Several of these traditional varieties have been documented by the Instituto Mayor Campesino (IMCA). Erminsu Iván David Pabón-Mincho, an IMCA program coordinator, says that the community mills and the varieties of local sugarcane they use are vital to the livelihoods and well-being of rural communities in Colombia. But he says that the recent push to expand sugar production in the country threatens to allocate its already restricted lands to ethanol when they are the lands where communities produce their own sugar cane. Además considera que las reglamentaciones gubernamentales para la industria del azúcar buscan penalizar la producción local de panela y concentrar la industria del azúcar en manos de grandes compañías.
Comunidades como ésas se interponen en el camino de la caña de azúcar transgénica y son las que corren más riesgo de perder sus tierras por la expansión de la caña de azúcar transgénica, de perder su trabajo por la mecanización de la producción de azúcar, de ser contaminadas por los herbicidas y de que sus cultivos tradicionales de caña se contaminen con transgénicos. Además, corren más riesgo por las posibles consecuencias adversas sobre la salud derivadas del azúcar transgénico, ya que consumen la caña de azúcar en su forma pura y para ellas constituye una fuente nutritiva, no solamente un edulcorante. Hasta ahora, para la aprobación de las remolachas azucareras transgénicas, las autoridades han considerado su impacto solamente en el consumo de la forma refinada, en la que supuestamente el material transgénico ya no está presente. 
Por muchas razones es importante entonces tomar una posición contra la caña de azúcar transgénica y el azúcar transgénico en general. Esto es parte de una oposición más amplia ante la expansión del azúcar empresarial que ocupa tierras agrícolas que los campesinos podrían utilizar, en cambio, para la producción local de alimentos. Es también un rechazo a la industrialización y deshumanización de un cultivo alimenticio que tiene un significado cultural y económico importante para numerosas comunidades, sobre todo ante el aumento actual del etanol fabricado a partir de la caña de azúcar. Los jornaleros, los campesinos y otros productores de alimentos de las regiones tropicales y subtropicales dependen de la caña de azúcar como fuente alimenticia y base de su sustento. Actualmente sufren mucho con la confabulación entre las agroempresas y los gobiernos que buscan redibujar el mapa mundial de la producción de azúcar. La introducción de la caña de azúcar transgénica sólo empeorará e intensificará sus problemas.
GRAIN, Abril de 2009
Grupo ETC, “Cómo volver mercancía hasta la última brizna de hierba. Ingeniería genética extrema y la economía post-petrolera del azúcar”, octubre de 2008
Javiera Rulli (ed.), Repúblicas Unidas de la Soja. Realidades sobre la producción de soja en América del Sur. Grupo de Reflexión Rural, 2008
Centro de Monitoramento de Agrocombustíveis-Repórter Brasil, “O Brasil dos Agrocombustíveis: Os Impactos das Lavouras sobre a Terra, o Meio e a Sociedade, volume 3-Cana-de-açúcar,” 2009
Maria Luisa Mendonça, “Os impactos de la produçao de cana no Cerrado e Amazônia”, Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos and Comissão Pastoral da Terra, octubre de 2008
Lilian Joensen, Stella Semino y Helena Paul, “Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya”, Gaia Foundation, 2005
GRAIN, Seedling, special issue on agrofuels, julio de 2007
1. Walter Pengue y Miguel Altieri, “GM soya bean: Latin America’s new colonizer”, Seedling, enero de 2006
2. Günther Fischer, Edmar Teixeira, Eva Tothne Hizsnyik y Harrij van Velthuizen, “Land use dynamics and sugarcane production“, in Peter Zuurbier and Jos van de Vooren (eds), Sugarcane Ethanol: Contributions to Climate Change Mitigation and the Environment, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Holanda, 2008.
3. Una excelente historia y análisis de las reformas del azúcar en la Unión Europea, se encuentran en Ben Richardson, “Restructuring the EU–ACP sugar regime: Out of the strong there came forth sweetness”, Review of International Political Economy, 28 de enero de 2009
4. Ver Grupo ETC, “Cómo volver mercancía hasta la última brizna de hierba. Ingeniería genética extrema y la economía post-petrolera del azúcar”, octubre de 2008
5. La iniciativa Todo Menos Armas, que entró en vigor en marzo de 2001, abre la Unión Europea a importaciones libres de derechos y libres de cuotas de todos los Países Menos Adelantados, con un acuerdo de transición para el azúcar, vigente hasta julio de 2009.
6. “Sudan announces ambitious plan for sugar production”, Sudan Tribune, 7 de marzo de 2008
7. União dos Produtores de Bioenergia (UDOP), “Capital estrangeiro responde por 12% da cana moída no Brasil”, 4 de febrero de 2009
8. “Açúcar e álcool são os paradoxos da crise”, Gazeta Mercantil, 17 de noviembre de 2008
9. Maria Luisa Mendonça, “Os impactos de la produçao de cana no Cerrado e Amazônia”, Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos and Comissão Pastoral da Terra, octubre de 2008
10. Ben Richardson, “An Exclusive Engine of Growth: The Development Model of Brazilian Sugarcane”, Ethical-Sugar, 17 de enero de 2009
11. En 2008, BNDES dispuso cerca de 2 500 millones de dólares para la industria del azúcar/etanol (Centro de Monitoramento de Agrocombustíveis–Repórter Brasil, “O Brasil dos Agrocombustíveis: Os Impactos das Lavouras sobre a Terra, o Meio e a Sociedade, volume 3-Cana-de-açúcar”, 2009, http://tinyurl.com/bca4ev). Ver también el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, “IDB backs $150 million Regional Financing Facility for Sugar and Bioenergy”, 16 de enero de 2009
12. Ver por ejemplo, el siguiente informe del estado de Mato Grosso do Sul, en el cual la producción de caña de azúcar se ha expandido recientemente: Mieceslau Kudlavicz y Juliana Grasiéli Mota Bueno, “A expansão canavieira em Mato Grosso do Sul,” Comissão Pastoral da Terra, 26 de agosto de 2008
13. Ben Richardson, “An Exclusive Engine of Growth: The Development Model of Brazilian Sugarcane”, s 17 de enero de 2009
14. Silvia Noronha, Lúcia Ortiz and Sergio Schlesinger, “Agribusiness and Biofuels: An Explosive Mixture,” Amigos de la Tierra, Brazil, 2006.
15. Centro de Monitoramento de Agrocombustíveis-Repórter Brasil, “O Brasil dos Agrocombustíveis: Os Impactos das Lavouras sobre a Terra, o Meio e a Sociedade, volume 3-Cana-de-açúcar”, 2009
16. CPT, “Em ano recorde em operações, mais de 4 600 trabalhadores são libertados”, 19 de enero de 2009
17. Friedrich Berschauer, “The long-term growth trends for the Brazilian agro business remain firmly intact”, Bayer CropScience, 20 de abril de 2007
18. Informes de la compañía de 2005 revelan que el mercado de tractores brasileño está controlado por AGCO/Valtra (65%), New Holland (18%) and John Deere (7.5%).
19. Para un informe más exhaustivo sobre la producción de caña de azúcar brasileña, ver Maria Luisa Mendonça, “Os impactos de la produçao de cana no Cerrado e Amazônia”, Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos and Comissão Pastoral da Terra, octubre de 2008
20. Janaína Simões, “Center of Sugarcane Technology indicates the path and sets the pace for technological innovation in the sugar and alcohol sector,” Universidad Estatal de Campinas, Unicamp Innovation, 5 de junio de 2006
21. Ver Queensland Cane Growers Organisation Ltd, 2008 Annual Report, http://tinyurl.com/bw9z57 y A. Wynne, B. Milford y E. Wall, “Advancing sugarcane: leading and managing change,” Second ISSCT management workshop, Australia, mayo de 2008
22. UITA, “Brasil: la Caña de Azúcar avanza también sobre la pradera”, 14 de mayo de 2008
23. Safras & Mercado, “Zoneamento pode expandir área de cana-de-açúcar em 44 milhões de hectares,” Notícias Agrícolas, 23 de enero de 2009
24. Lilian Joensen, “The crop-sprayed villages of Argentina,” en Javiera Rulli (ed.), Repúblicas Unidas de la Soja. Grupo de Reflexión Rural, 2008
25. Center for Food Safety, “Tainted Sugar”, Food Safety Fact Sheet, junio de 2008
26. N. Benachour and G-E. Séralini, “Glyphosate formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells”, Chem. Res. Toxicol., 22 (1), 2009, pp. 97–105; doctor Mae-Wan Ho y Brett Cherry, “Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup,” Comunicado de Prensa de ISIS, 11 de febrero de 2009
27. Ver GRAIN, “Twelve years of GM soya in Argentina”, Seedling, enero de 2009
28. La industria brasileña del azúcar estima que la mecanización provocará la pérdida neta de 114 mil puestos de trabajo entre 2010 y 2021 en el estado de São Paulo (Ethical-Sugar, “An Exclusive Engine of Growth: The Development Model of Brazilian Sugarcane,” enero de 2009, http://tinyurl.com/aooogg). La mecanización no necesariamente implica que los trabajadores tengan condiciones de trabajo más seguras. Un estudio realizado en Brasil concluyó que el patrón de enfermedad entre quienes trabajan en la cosecha es similar al de quienes cortan caña de azúcar a mano (RA Scopinho, F. Eid, C.E. Vian, PR Silva, “New technologies and workers’ health: mechanization of sugar cane harvesting,” Caderno Saúde Pública, 15 (1), enero–marzo 1999, pp. 147–61).
29. Ver, por ejemplo, Health Canada’s approval of H7-1 Roundup Ready sugar beets