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This conflict will be solved at international courts. The authorization of GM corn crops in Mexico and the attempt by the FAO to legitimize this practice are strongly questioned by tens of organizations meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico, in the parallel activities to the Conference on Agriculture Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (where the world´s most important seed companies are gathered).
A press statement issued on Sunday by the Network in Defense of Corn, Via Campesina North America and the National Assembly of Environmentally Affected People announces a “peasant trial” against GMOs.
“The Mexican government, against the will and interests of most part of the population, granted 24 authorizations to plant GM corn in several trial fields through Mexico. This is considered to be a provocation, because from all points of view, whether rural, urban, peasant, technical, scientific, there have been arguments showing that there is no point in releasing GM corn in its centre of origin”, said Evangelina Robles, lawyer and member of Colectivo Coa, part of the Network in Defense of Corn.
Robles highlighted the role of the organizations who have been working on this issue for years, such as Grain and the ETC group, and pointed out that GM contamination of corn is a “crime against humanity”, since “we are at the centre of origin of corn, not only for Mexico but also for the rest of the world”.
The document issued by the organization quotes Eutimio Diaz, from the Wixarika indigenous people and activist at the Network in Defense of Corn since 2001. “Corn is part of our lives, of our history, economy, of who we are. We take care of it and we grow it, and corn makes as grow and takes care of us as well. Losing corn is like death for peoples and this is what the government will achieve if it continues letting transnational corporations to contaminate and take over corn. This is another war against indigenous peoples and we will not allow it”, he said.
On February 23rd, Pat Mooney, Alternative Nobel laureate and executive director at the ETC Group, resigned from the steering committee of the FAO´s Conference, to which he joined after the organization promised him a fair process. “I feel used and abused by the entire process. I was shocked that none of the issues I raised were addressed”, said Mooney.
Octavio Rosas Landa, activist at the National Assembly of Environmentally Affected People, has stated that thousand of Mexican farmers are suffering from the “contamination and destruction” of their territories, water resources and biodiversity as a consequence of the settlement of industrial farms of pigs, poultry and cows, mining and big hydroelectric dams. Something similar was what Alberto Gomez Flores from La Via Campesina said, stating that the FAO is wrong when saying that biotechnology and GMOs will serve to face hunger in the world and the climate crisis.
“It seems that decades of Green Revolution have taught them nothing. With industrial agriculture and chemicals the production of some grains increased, but so did hunger in the world. There are more poor people, more displaced people, less farmers”, he said.
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