Quick Reads

Carta abierta de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre la contaminacion transgenica en los centros de origen

Al Gobierno Mexicano y a la comunidad internacional.

El 9 de octubre del 2003, campesinos y comunidades indígenas, junto con organizaciones de la sociedad civil en México, publicaron los resultados iniciales de sus pruebas sobre la contaminación de las variedades nativas de maíz en al menos nueve estados, aunque la siembra de maíz transgénico está prohibida en México. Los resultados, que son parte de más estudios en curso, mostraron que la contaminación es mucho más grave y está mucho más extendida que lo que se pensaba anteriormente (por ejemplo en el estudio de los científicos Chapela y Quist de Berkeley y del Instituto Nacional de Ecología en México).

Un hecho alarmante es que encontraron contaminación con maíz Starlink (prohibido para el consumo humano en Estados Unidos y finalmente retirado del mercado) y plantas contaminadas con hasta tres transgenes diferentes, lo que podría indicar que la contaminación ha estado ocurriendo desde hace varias generaciones. Todas las secuencias identificadas están patentadas por alguna de las cinco multinacionales que controlan la industria biotecnológica agrícola.

Open letter from international civil society organizations on transgenic contamination in the centers of origin and diversity

To the Mexican government and the international community:

On October 9, 2003, peasant farmers and indigenous communities, along with civil society organizations in Mexico, publicly released the initial results of their own testing that found GM contamination of native maize in at least nine Mexican states, even though the planting of transgenic maize is prohibited in Mexico. These results , which are part of ongoing studies, show far more serious and widespread contamination than previously assumed by earlier studies (e. g., the study by Berkeley scientists Chapela and Quist and one by the official Institute of Ecology in Mexico.

One alarming fact is that the communities found widespread contamination with Starlink maize (not approved for human consumption in the US and finally taken off the market) and contamination of single plants with up to three different transgenes, which may indicate that contamination has been occurring over several generations. All identified sequences are patented by one of the five multinationals that control the agricultural biotechnology industry.

Contaminación transgénica del maíz en México: mucho más grave

Boletín de prensa colectivo de comunidades indígenas y campesinas de Oaxaca, Puebla, Chihuahua, Veracruz, CECCAM, CENAMI, Grupo ETC, CASIFOP, UNOSJO, AJAGI

Contaminación también en Chihuahua, Morelos, Durango, Edomex, Puebla, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala y Veracruz

Encuentran en todos contaminación con Starlink, variedad prohibida para consumo humano en Estados Unidos

Dos, tres y cuatro diferentes transgénicos en la misma planta, todos patentados por transnacionales biotecnológicas

Las comunidades indígenas y campesinas toman el proceso en sus manos, demandan parar importaciones de maíz, mantener la moratoria al maíz transgénico y detener la ley de bioseguridad en discusión en el Congreso.

Nine Mexican States found to be GM contaminated - Contamination by genetically modified maize in Mexico much worse than feared

From: Indigenous and farming communities in Oaxaca, Puebla, Chihuahua, Veracruz, CECCAM, CENAMI, ETC Group, CASIFOP, UNOSJO, AJAGI

Mexico City, Mexico

* Contamination has been found in cornfields in the states of Chihuahua, Morelos, Durango, Mexico State, Puebla, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala and Veracruz

* Analyses show contamination with the genetically modified (GM) variety Starlink, prohibited for human consumption in the United States

* Some plants found to show presence of two, three and four different GM types, all patented by transnational biotechnology corporations

Alimentando el mundo a la fuerza

Trece millones de personas en Lesotho, Malawi, Swazilandia, Zambia, Zimbabwe y Mozambique están amenazadas de hambruna, debido a la sequía extrema, epidemias y "mala administración política", según la FAO. Hubiera sido apenas una noticia más -pese a ser terrible-, de no ser porque varios países se negaron a recibir la ayuda alimentaria del Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) por contener maíz transgénico. Esto desató un virulento debate internacional. Estados Unidos y su agencia para el desarrollo (USAID) censuraron duramente a estas naciones, que según Colin Powell, en su discurso ante la cumbre de Desarrollo Sostenible en Sudáfrica, "condenan a sus poblaciones al hambre" al no aceptar transgénicos.

Monsanto's Species-Wide Patent on Trial

May 6-7 2003, European Patent Office Hears Patent Challenge in Munich - Eight and One-Half Years Later!

Remember 1994? Nine years ago: Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, US President Bill Clinton sent ground troops to the Persian Gulf to counter a move by Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and Brazil won the World Cup. The United Nations' Biodiversity Convention entered into force in 1994 and the Uruguay Round of GATT was drawing to a close. In the "life sciences" cosmos, Monsanto and Dupont were chemical companies with minor interests in seeds and Syngenta did not yet exist. ETC Group was known as RAFI. Also in 1994, a small biotech subsidiary of W.R. Grace, Agracetus, won a breathtakingly broad patent on all genetically modified soybean varieties, European Patent No. 301,749.

Broken Promise? Monsanto Promotes Terminator Seed Technology

At its annual meeting on Thursday, April 24th 2003, Monsanto's top brass will greet shareholders with a dismal financial report, (a 15% drop in annual sales - $4.7 billion in 2002, down from $5.5 billion in 2001) and a shareholder resolution that urges the company to re-think the safety of genetically engineered seeds - now the company's flagship product. But there's potentially more troubling news - a little known position paper that could rattle shareholders, irk investors and erode public confidence still further in the biotech behemoth: Despite its 1999 pledge not to commercialize Terminator technology, Monsanto has recently adopted a positive stance on genetic seed sterilization, a technology that has been condemned by civil society and some governments as an immoral application of genetic engineering.

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