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November 26th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Over 30 organizations began what will be a very long march yesterday. The march, “March in Defense of our Corn,” began in Matambu, home of the Chorotega corn, in Guanacaste, and will end when the marchers reach the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) in San Jose next Monday, December 3rd. The marchers say they are warning communities about Monsanto’s intentions in planting genetically modified corn in Costa Rica.
Eduardo Lopez from the National University (UNA, in Spanish), believes that the debate and the decision to permit these modified crops should be held on a national level, in which all sectors involved should have a say.
Also, the School of Biology in the University of Costa Rica recommends the National Biosecurity Technical Commission to declare a moratorium on the introduction of genetically modified varieties of corn in Costa Rica, until more ecological and socioeconomic studies can guarantee the future integrity of the existing cultivated and natural biodiversity in the country should GMOs be introduced.
Meanwhile, the Cultural Heritage Conservation Center, part of the Ministry of Culture, is working on declaring the local creole corn part of Costa Rica’s national cultural heritage, after receiving requests from several institutions and organizations.
The march will end at 8:00am on Monday, December 3rd, 2012, when the marchers reach the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) in San Jose, the day that the National Biosecurity Technical Commission will vote on whether to permit plantations of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn in Costa Rica.