The agribusiness transnationals are bearing down on Latin America with a force recalling their initial assault under the banner of the “green revolution” in the 1960s, or the first incursion of genetically engineered (GE) organisms (also known as GMOs or genetically modified organisms) in the 1990s. From one end of the continent to the other, and under different guises, the GMO invasion is threatening the livelihoods and the health of millions of peasants, first peoples, and consumers. Nearly every country in the region is in the sights of the agribusiness transnationals, the most recent example being Paraguay, where a parliamentary coup d’état took as one of its goals that of gaining approval for GE maize – and the de facto government is now preparing to grant that approval. In Argentina, Monsanto wants to build the largest GE maize processing plant in Latin America; the government is set to amend the Seeds Act to adapt it to that company’s needs. In the Andean region, there are worrisome attempts to overturn the bans on GMOs in Bolivia and Ecuador using bogus arguments. In Costa Rica, too, the Biosafety Commission intends to approve a GE maize variety. It is no accident that in nearly every case it is maize, our maize, that is at stake. Nor is it an accident that Mexico finds itself the focal point for one of the most brutal attacks. The threat is to both the food production and consumption of local communities and the small-scale farming of milpas depicted in the drawing at the head of this article. Read the full report here.
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