March 20th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) After months of protests, lectures, and meetings throughout the country by different groups of activists opposed to genetically modified crops, 51 cantons have so far declared themselves to be GMO-free zones.
According to Mauricio Alvarez, president of the Environmental Federation, Poas is the latest canton to make the declaration, even though the city council there had previously indicated they were in favor of GMO crops.
Among the cantons that have declared themselves GMO free are Valverdevega, Santa Barbara, Upala, Puntarenas, Escazu, La Union, Palmares, San Ramon, Esparza, Orosi, Desamparados, Dota, Tibas, and Garabito. Discussions continue in the cantons of Montes de Oro, Leon Cortes, Mora, Acosta, San Isidro de Heredia, Alajuela, and Santo Domingo.
Last Wednesday, Dr. Seralini of the University of Caen in France gave a presentation and answered questions at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Seralini is the doctor who conducted the French study with laboratory rats that were fed GM corn. The results of their study indicated that GMO’s could shorten life expectancy and increase the risk of cancer, though some other experts have criticized the study’s methodology.
According to Dr. Seralini, rats that were fed transgenic corn developed tumors 2 to 3 times faster than those that were not fed with transgenic corn, producing mammary tumors and hepato-renal toxicity. The study was published in the international journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.