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Victory for beekepers in Mexico

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

A small group of beekeepers in Mexico halted Monsanto’s ambitions to plant thousands of hectares of GM soybeans, the Guardian reports. A permit had authorised Monsanto to plant its seeds in seven states, on over more than 253,000 hectares, despite protests from thousands of Mayan farmers and beekeepers, Greenpeace, as well as from other organisations. (Picture © Arturo Rocha / Aerofilms / Greenpeace: Greenpeace activists joined with members from the Mayan community to form a human banner in an industrial agriculture field, demanding no GMO (in Mayan: MA OGM) in 2012)

A district judge in the state of Yucatán overturned the permit issued to Monsanto by Mexico’s agriculture ministry and environmental protection agency, Semarnat, in June 2012 that had allowed commercial planting of Roundup-ready soybeans. The judge was convinced by the scientific evidence presented about the threats posed by GM soy crops to honey production in the Yucatán peninsula. Co-existence between honey production and GM soybeans was not possible, according to the ruling.

Central to the ruling was the Mexican constitution, specifically the government’s obligation to fully consult indigenous communities before making any major decision about what happens, including what is grown, on their territory. The judge ordered planting to stop and gave the ministry six months to carry out full and proper consultations with indigenous farmers. GM crops could devastate the important European export market for Mexican beekeepers, where the sale of honey containing pollen derived from GM crops has been restricted since a landmark decision in 2011 by the European court of justice. The full article is available from The Guardian.




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