23 April 2002
MEXICAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES WANT WORLD TO ADDRESS GM CORN CONTAMINATION
see also: Mexican government finds widespread genetic contamination
1. Mexican indigenous communities want world to address corn contamination
2. India Min: Government Plans Checks On GMO Food Imports - Report
1. Mexican indigenous communities want world to address GM corn contamination
TRANSGENIC CORN OUT OF CONTROL IN ONE WORLD CENTER OF ORIGIN AND DIVERSITY!
La Hague, the Netehrlands, April 23th, 2002. Transgenic pollen has contaminated the center of origin and diversity of corn. Thirty indigenous communities from the ethnic groups Mixe, Zapotec and Chinantec, at the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico, ask the international community to:
* Declare Mesoamerica as a special area for urgent attention.
* Set up binding norms to limit the uses of genetic engineering in corn and other cross-pollinated crops.
* Set up an international fund, financed with a percentage of world trade on transgenic grains.
* Target that fund to rural producers to improve and maintain their traditional seeds production.
* Set up an international permanent monitoring system.
In October 2000, the first evidences of transgenic DNA in indigenous communities' corn varieties were found at the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, at South Mexico. The zone is in the cultural area known as Mesoamerica, which is the Center of Origin and Diversity of that crop. This is a serious fact that threatens the integrity of the genetic diversity in a strategically important crop for today and future world food supply.
Thirty indigenous communities from the ethnic groups mixe, zapotec and chinantec, gathered at the Comité de Recursos Naturales (Natural Resources Committee) de la Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, have started actions to address this problem.
After the first information on transgenic contamination, several independent studies have been carried out, all of them have put in evidence that control systems, set up to avoid the use of transgenic corn seed as an official moratorium ruled, have not been enough.
For the indigenous communities, the most important actions should be targeted to repair the long-term damages due to transgenic contamination. They propose to set up a mandatory fee on international transgenic trade, to finance cleaning and control actions, such as:
Sierra Norte de Oaxaca communities have submitted a formal complaint under the North America Environmental Cooperation Agreement, asking support from the Mexican and United States governments to deal with the traditional corn transgenic contamination and to develop improved seeds production with local criteria.
Sierra Norte de Oaxaca communities ask the CBD to:
- Declare Mesoamerica as an urgent attention zone, and to develop a
special program to give incentives and support to transgenic seeds elimination,
fostering locally improved varieties production, transgenic-free, certified.
In this special zone, imports of corn and other transgenic grains should
be restricted especially of those that may be used as seeds of corn and
other traditional crops.
- Set up binding norms to limit the uses of genetic engineering in corn and other cross-pollinated crops.
- Form an international fund to repair the long-term damages to rural producers due to GMOs. This fund may be formed with a percentage of world trade on transgenic grains.
- Target that fund to help rural producers to maintain and to improve their traditional seeds production, and to participate in contamination monitoring and cleaning actions.
- Set up an international permanent cultivated diversity monitoring system. This system would keep track of current distribution and threats of this important biodiversity component, and must be based on reports coming from rural producers organizations.
Sr. Miguel Ramírez Domínguez
Comunidad de Capulalpam de Méndez
52 01 (951) 539 2008
Sr. Román Aquino
Comunidad de Ixtlán de Juárez
52 01 (951) 513-6146
India Min: Government Plans Checks On GMO Food Imports - Report
Mon Apr 22, (shortened)
NEW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- The Indian government is planning to introduce checks on imports of genetically modified farm products, the Financial Express newspaper reported Monday, quoting Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh.
"We are planning to introduce a form that will have to be filled by all importers of agri-products - including vegetable oils - in the country," Singh was quoted as saying in the report. "The WTO has not objected to such checks."
The form will indicate whether the product is made with genetically modified ingredients, the report said.
According to media reports, the government wants to curb imports of soyoil extracted from genetically modified soybeans.
India 's soyoil imports account for about 30% of its total edible oil imports.
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