Mexico and Hawaii Ban GMO as People Worldwide March against Monsanto
Both Mexico and Hawaii have passed new legislation against GMO as people worldwide march against Monsanto
Christof Lehmann , - The Big Island of Hawaii County Council Committee has passed a GMO prohibition bill which is progressing to the full Council on 16 October. A Mexican judge has banned GMO corn, citing that it poses an imminent threat. People worldwide are again marching against Monsanto, the main producer of GMO´s. The developments in Hawaii and Mexico indicate that the campaign to raise awareness about GMO´s and GMO food giants is gaining momentum.
People are marching against GMO and Monsanto, again. The website of the Russian TV channel Russia Today (RT) reports, that rallies, drawing hundreds of protesters each, have been held in some 500 cities worldwide.
Rallies are, among others, being held in Berlin, Strasbourg, Chicago, London, Sydney and Mumbai. In May 2013 some two million worldwide went into the streets to march against Monsanto and GMO.
Even though the rallies on Sunday 13 October did not mobilize millions, it seems that the persistence of the campaigners and increased public awareness about the necessity to take part in taking action is yielding results worldwide.
Big Island of Hawai may Ban GMO. The Big Island of Hawaii County Council Committee has passed a GMO prohibition Bill by a vote of 6-2. The Bill 113 passed out of committee and is progressing to the full Council, set for October 16th.
If the bill passes, it will be a significant victory for those, worldwide, who are concerned about the dangers of GMOs. The legislation will ban all open air cultivation of GMOs, with the exception of papaya which already has genetically modified forms being grown on the island.
Although the final adoption would constitute a major victory for the opponents of GMOs, some criticize the council and the bill for having a blind spot with regards to GM papaya. The Hawaiian organic farmer, Melanie Bondera, asks why the creators of genetically-engineered papaya fruit had to work so hard to introduce it.
Bondera asks in NW RAGE, if the GE papaya is really a simple solution to a major agricultural disease that farmers want, it would be readily adopted by governments, farmers and markets. However, it is not. The concern over this genetically modified organism (GMO) food is so great, that it creates resistance, loss of markets, contamination and more loss of markets…
Judge bans genetically-engineered corn in Mexico, citing that it poses an imminent danger. The winds of change have also begun blowing over Mexican corn fields. On 10 October media in Mexico City cited the group La Copachera for announcing that genetically engineered corn has been banned in Mexico.
According to the press release issued by La Copachera, a Mexican Federal Judge has ordered Mexico´s Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA) and the SEMARNAT, which is a secretariat similar to the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) in the USA to:
Immediately suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings”.
The unprecedented ban on GMOs in Mexico was issued by judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J, at the Twelfth Federal District Court of Mexico City. As the basis for the order, judge Jaime Verdugo cited:
“the risk of imminent harm to the environment”.
Judge slams Transnationals Monsanto, Pioneer and others. The judge also ruled that transnationals like Monsanto and Pioneer are banned from the release of transgenic maize in the Mexican countryside as long as collective action lawsuits, initiated by citizens, farmers, scientists, and civil society organizations are working their way through the judicial system.
One of the groups working its way through the legal system is the Acción Collectiva (Collective Action), led by the christian cleric, Father Miguel Concha of the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco de Vittoria. Acción Collectiva aims, according to one of its press releases, at achieving an absolute federal declaration on the suspension of the introduction of transgenic maize in all of its forms, including experimental and pilot commercial plantings in Mexico.
Rene Sanchez Galindo, the legal council for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, stated that the ruling of Judge Jaime Verdugo constitutes a milestone in the long struggle of citizen demands for a GMO free country. Galindo added, that the ruling has serious enforcement provisions and includes the possibility of criminal charges for the authorities responsible for allowing the introduction of transgenic corn in Mexico.
Especially Monsanto is internationally infamous for its use of lobbyists within the governments of nations where it is doing business, leading elected officials to effectively represent Monsanto rather than their electorate. Corruption with regards to Monsanto is rampant and well documented, so is the transnational giant´s abuse of the country’s judicial system and the strategy to draw opponents into protracted legal battles which often lead to the bankruptcy of the plaintiff.
The ruling by Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo is setting a clear signal to the members of Mexico´s regulatory authorities by making them liable to criminal charges if they violate the rules.
Even though today´s rallies against Monsanto and GMO have not mobilized two million, like the March in May, marching against Monsanto and GMOs seems to make an impact.