January 22nd, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The National Biosafety Committee has decided by majority to give the green light to the multinational company Monsanto to plant one or two hecatures of genetically modified maize in Costa Rica.
The decision was confirmed by Alejandro Hernandez, a member of the Commission from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and by the NGO, Coecoceiba.
The request to plant the GMO crop was made by the company D&PL Semillas Ltda last November, and caused quite a controversy in the country, including a march by concerned citizens to the country’s capital. Monsanto purchased D&PL’s (Delta & Pine Land) parent company in 2006, also a U.S. firm.
There are currently 443.1 hectares of biotech crops already planted in Costa Rica, of which 394.3 hectares are cotton, 44.6 soybeans, 1 ha of banana and 3.2 of pineapple. The plantations are owned by companies such as Olson Seed, D&PL, Bayer, and Del Monte, according to data from the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE).
However, don’t expect GMO produce in the vegetable isle anytime soon in Costa Rica. The GMO crops can only be planted for seed or research, not for consumption, and cannot be marketed in country. All seed produced is exported.