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Almost two decades after the introduction of the first genetically modified (GM) crops in the region and while new strains of GM crops are being released every year, REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay is organizing a seminar with experts to analyse the impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the people and the environment.
The risks for biosafety, the current legal frameworks and the role of transnational corporations that own the technology, besides the lack of citizen participation will be some of the issues discussed at the seminar to be held on Thursday 20th June in Montevideo, Uruguay to be livestreamed by Real World Radio.
The Southern Cone threatens to displace the US as the world’s first country in terms of land occupied with GMO. However, there is a growing public and scientific opinion against the “GM agribusiness” in those countries.
Some of the participants of the seminar are Rubens Nodari, former member of the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTN-Bio) of Brazil and the Argentinean scientist Andres Carrasco, who carried out studies on the impacts of glyphosate in vertrebtrates. He is one of the key experts on biosafety issues in the region.
Carlos Vicente, Latin American coordinator of GRAIN International and expert on seed and phytogenetic resources legislation, as well as Miguel Lovera, former head of the National Service of Vegetal and Seeds Quality and Sanitation (SENAVE) in Paraguay will also participate in the seminar.
Andres Carrasco said the mechanisms to approve GMO have been based on “foreign criteria” by the corporations interested in the patenting and commercialization of GM seeds and its associated agrotoxics.
In an interview with community radio station “La Caterva” of Buenos Aires, Carrasco said that eleven new GM events were approved in Argentina in the past two years, five of which are resistant to a pesticide.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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