Why seed companies fear M 鸩 co

Drying corn in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, southern Mexico. Credit: Mauricio Ramos / IPS
  • Opinion by Ernesto Hernandez Lopez (orange, california, us)
  • Inter Press Service

This promises a way out of the obsolete debates on GMOs that plague us. One party argues that genetic modifications to seeds increase yields. Seed companies and industrial agriculture make up this side. Another part says that GMOs damage the DNA of plants.

Small farmers and environmentalists stand on this side. Neither is addressed to the other. This status quo keeps GMO policies ineffective. Courts decision offers a way out by cutting off the positions of seed companies. We should follow Mexico’s slow growing resistance to GMOs.

By focusing on biodiversity, the decision powers sustainable agriculture around the world. From a legal standpoint, the decision found that it is constitutional for courts to block commercial permits for GMO corn. Seed companies, such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and PHI, need it to sell seeds in Mexico. They lost.

But there is much more at stake than permits and court orders. These agrochemical companies are pursuing a global push for GMO agriculture, not just in Mexico. Farmers around the world fear that companies control The use of GMO seeds (not the producers) and that the seeds cause permanent damage to the environment. Frustrations have spread steadily, evident at this year’s UN COP26 and the UN world food summit.

Fortunately, law and science are on the side of GMO advocates. Mexico therefore offers an example of effective legal resistance. The court said that biodiversity is necessary for maize plants to grow, mix genes and adapt, as has been done for centuries. In other words, biodiversity is necessary for the survival of maize as a plant species.

GMOs permanently harm this. The fear is that the wind carries the pollen from genetically modified plants to be mixed with non-GMO corn, called native corn. Even if it is not intentional, it cannot be undone and threatens genetic variety of maize. GMOs threaten biodiversity, which is necessary for plants to adapt to drought, climate change and varying soil conditions.

Proponents of GMOs describe this reasoning as unscientific and emotional. They are wrong. They prejudge the democratic and scientific process of a country used to support sustainable agriculture.

This debate is not new. GMOs have been lost in Mexican courts for years. In 2013, the Corn collectivity, representing farmers, indigenous communities, environmentalists and scientists, sued stop government review of permit applications.

They argued that there had been unauthorized releases of GMO genes exceeding the levels permitted by Mexico’s biosafety law. Their power plant complaints were that genetically modified plants mix with native corn. It may become permanent damage Mexico is over fifty years old native corn varieties. Eight years ago, a court of first instance sided with the Community. Last month the Supreme Court unanimously agreed, after giving Community and seed companies since 2017 to assert their point of view.

The tribunal Explain that the precautionary principle authorizes controls on GMOs to protect biodiversity. With this international law principle, governments ban technologies if their safety is scientifically uncertain. See it as a way for governments to manage environmental, public health, or biosecurity risks.

By using it, Mexico is blocking seed permits as a precautionary measure to reduce damage from GMOs. This is explicitly allowed in Mexico biosafety law, passed with agrochemicals industry support in 2005. Precautionary measures are also supported by international laws on GMOs (2003), the biodiversity (1993) and the environment (1992). In reality, Global South countries insisted that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety explicitly include provisions for the precautionary principle.

The interests of GMOs reduction these laws to evade biosecurity measures. They hijack and all innovation. Insist on GMOs safe, seed companies refute environmental impacts. Deny, deny, deny, doesn’t work.

The proponents of GMOs flout science. Community lawyers explain that seed companies preferred not to submit scientific evidence on the safety of GMOs. This was an unforced litigation error, pointing to bigger issues. Observers classify business justifications as false science, because they show that controls for GMOs on farms are failing.

For decades, multilateral organizations and scientist studies spectacle how GMOs threaten But. Also there are no scientific consensus to GMO safety. Simply put, GMOs damage genes in plants. Scientists say they harm the environment and are harmful to eat.

The power of Mexico’s decision goes far beyond permits. It emboldens national plans to phasing out GMO corn and glyphosate, not just seeds, by 2024. not based on science. Controversies over toxic glyphosate raise further concern. GMO agriculture needs this chemical herbicide. A UN agency and american courtsfound it to be carcinogenic. This resulted in court-ordered payments, creating a headache for Bayer which acquired glyphosate producer Monsanto.

All of this inspires sustainable agriculture on a global scale. Hundreds of countries have signed treaties containing provisions relating to the precautionary principle. The principle was at the heart of Mexican manufacturing biosecurity measures. It can to guide more governments to implement effective policies on GMOs, biodiversity and the environment. Seed companies wonder if more courts, regulators or legislatures are copying Mexico.

In short, sustainable farmers, environmentalists, lawyers, and most importantly, policymakers around the world should follow Mexico’s lead. evident in the CommunityThe determination of, resistance is the seed of lasting success, when it combines legal, cultural and political efforts.

Seed companies should learn that there are more losses than unrealized seed sales. In the long run, the markets for popular legitimacy and government trust are far more important than the demand for shortsighted stories about science and law. Discuss corn, free trade ideologue David Ricardo explained the law of diminishing returns, when business choices become counterproductive. This should prompt seedmakers to stop opposing precaution.

Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez is professor of law at the Fowler School of Law, Chapman University (California, United States) who writes on international law and food law.

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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