January 22nd, 2013 (costaricanewssite.com) In a majority decision, the Costa Rican National Biosafety Committee has granted permission to the hotly debated multinational genetically modified seed producer, Monsanto to plant “one or two” hectares of their GMO corn.
Confirmed by Alejandro Hernandez, a member of the commission and from the Ministry of Science and Technology and NGO, Coecoceiba.
The request to plant the GMO crop was not made officially by Monsanto by rather by the company D&PL Semillas Ltda – of which Monsanto purchased in 2006 by acquiring the parent company Delta & Pine Land.
Naturally this has caused quite the controversy given Costa Rica’s long standing reputation as a country of organic growth and eco-awareness. In fact this created a march of it’s citizens that descended upon the capital San Jose.
There are currently 443.1 hectares of biotech crops already planted in Costa Rica, of which 394.3 hectares are cotton, 44.6 soybeans, 1 ha of banana and 3.2 of pineapple. The plantations are owned by companies such as Olson Seed, D&PL, Bayer, and Del Monte, according to data from the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE).
There were luckily some conditions placed upon the ruling including, GMO crops can only be planted for seed or research, not for consumption and cannot be marketed within the country. All seed produced is exported. However many understand that this ruling is all about Monsanto getting their foot in the door in Costa Rica.
What’s to come?