Monsanto has made its way into Costa Rica, but local residents, environmental groups, lawmakers, and community organizations are putting up quite a fight. They are campaigning for the passage of a new bill that would place a moratorium on GMO crops at the national level. If passed, the bill would make Costa Rica a 100 percent GMO-free country!
So far, 63 of 81 Costa Rica contons or local authorities have declared themselves GMO-Free, reports Inside Costa Rica. The Municipal Council of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose capital, has even passed a motion that not only bans GMO crops from the region but also prohibits GMO food sales and consumption within the municipality, according to NewsSum.
The uproar against GMOs started when a Monsanto subsidiary, Delta & Pine Land, asked for permission last year to plant five acres of corn with four genetically modified seed varieties on Costa Rican soil. Like most Monsanto seeds, these were engineered to resist herbicides and insects.
Protests erupted across the nation, and hundreds of people came together in front of the National Technical Commission of Biosafety (CTNBio) to demand change. Unfortunately, CTNBio granted Monstanto approval to plant the seeds and others including those for GM soybeans, cotton, bananas, and pineapples.
“This giant multinational corporation controls the dissemination of seeds and is probably trying to do the same in Costa Rica as they have done in North America,” said Jenny Giddy, who founded the Cloudbridge nature reserve via NewsSum, “Monsanto may make it very difficult for farmers to grow heritage crops.”
Yet the same day Monsanto was given the green light, the cantons of Aserri, San Jose, and San Rafael de Heredia banned GMOs from their areas, reports NewsSum. And now, the GMO-free movement is growing across the country.
Costa Rica is definitely ahead of the curve with their GMO-free efforts. Hopefully the country’s moratorium on GMOs will pass and serve as an example for other nations to follow. What a grand victory that would be!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons