India Takes a Stand Against Manufactured Farming

Victory against Frankenfoods: India blocks harvesting of GM crops

Editor’s Note:  It is wonderful to see a country with as large a population as India blocking the manufactured creation of GM crops.  One by one, countries are resisting.  Costa Rica fought its battle back in 2004, and forced Monsanto to withdraw (article reproduced below).  Organic farming has proven time and again that it is the truly sustainable way to feed a population, as well as to strengthen rural economies.  By growing local foods, local communities are naturally involved.  Can we really believe that a mega corporation, which began as a chemical developer, is going to have health as a main objective? India has started to back permaculture in a major way, and shows signs of being a major promoter of healthy living and food independence.

Monsanto Scales Back
Costa Rica Operations
By Rebecca Kimitch
Tico Times Staff
rkimitch@ticotimes.net

Genetically modified organism (GMO) giant Monsanto has cut back its operations in Costa Rica and is no longer planning to grow genetically modified corn in Guanacaste, according to a statement from the Costa Rican Federation for the Conservation of the Environment (FECON). FECON also said the U.S.-based company has closed its Costa Rica office.

FECON members celebrated the Monsanto withdrawal as a victory in their battle against genetically modified crops in Costa Rica.

The Ministry of Agriculture and livestock (MAG) yesterday confirmed Monsanto has made cutbacks to its programs here, but officials would not say to what extent. The Tico Times tried to talk to Monsanto representatives here, but the phone for Monsanto Costa Rica appears to be disconnected.

“They have reacted to the demands of civil society. They were trying to avoid a scandal and have moved on to other countries where there is less resistance, such as Honduras,” said Eduardo Aguilar, of the Biodiversity Coordination Network, which, with FECON, is leading the fight against GMOs in Costa Rica.

GMOs, also known as transgenics, are crops genetically modified by scientists to exhibit certain traits, such as disease or herbicide resistance.

Opponents say transgenic crops have unknown health risks and could contaminate genetic material of nearby crops through the natural spread of seeds from gene-modified plants.

“Since the end of last year, people in Guanacaste have learned about the dangers of (GMOs) and started fighting against their cultivation,” Aguilar said.

The Biodiversity Coordination Network yesterday announced they have completed an eight-page document formally requesting an indefinite moratorium on GMO crops in Costa Rica. They have presented the document to the Agriculture Ministry.

The ministry is leading an effort to create a comprehensive approach to transgenics in Costa Rica through a National Framework in Biosecurity. The Framework would result in legislation regarding handling and import/export regulations for GMOs (TT, April 2).

Genetically modified cotton and soy crops currently grow on 583 hectares in Costa Rica, primarily in Guanacaste, according to MAG. These crops are grown for their seeds, all of which are exported to the United States.

Ministry officials and transgenic crop growers have said that Costa Rica’s GM crops pose no immediate danger to the environment, as they are planted a scientifically tested safe distance from non-GMO crops (TT, April 23).

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