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20 years

Shiva calls on Costa Rica to continue fight against GMOs and pesticides

Archive image.

Archive image.

January 22nd, 2014 ( Indian physicist, environmental activist and anti-globalization author Vandana Shiva spoke to a packed auditorium at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) yesterday, calling for Costa Ricans to continue their fight against GMOs and pesticides, saying that genetically modified crops threaten traditional culture and even human life.


“GM is a war for me at the genetic level – against the land, biodiversity and farmers because this creation can only come to be through a totalitarian structure that doesn’t allow farmers to use their seed,” Shiva said.


Prior to her lecture at UCR, environmental groups took Shiva to the province of Limon to meet with banana and pineapple farmers about the use of chemicals on their plantations.  While there, Shiva also met with Frente Amplio’s presidential hopeful, José Maria Villalta who has supported anti-GMO legislation as a lawmaker.


In Costa Rica, at least 80% of the country’s cantons have declared themselves GMO-free, while community organizations, environmentalists and some lawmakers continue to push for a nationwide ban on GMOs.


Shiva, a staunch opponent of GMOs, has authored more than 20 books and is also vocal against globalization.


Shiva has called GM seeds “seeds of slavery.”


Shiva is not without her critics.  Professor C.S. Prakash, professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University in Alabama said “Vandana Shiva would rather have her people in India starve than eat bioengineered food,” when relief societies had brought high-nutrition corn-soy mix to millions of Indians whose homes had been destroyed by a cyclone and Shiva insisted India to withdraw it.



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  • Hydrangea

    With an 80% outlawing rate, Costa Rica seems to have the situation well in hand. Shiva should stay in India and fix things there. It’s like missionaries coming here to “convert” the natives to “real” Christianity.

    • expatin paradise

      80% still misses a vast amount of agricultural land, and there is no
      real legal authority to keep GM crops from being planted in those
      cantons. This isn’t about only GMOs, but also chemical use. GM
      pineapples are grown in the southern zone, and heavy pesticide runoff
      has caused dangerous levels in the water the north, causing water to be
      trucked in for people and wildlife decline.

      Your missionary
      analogy escapes me. Shiva’s coming here to speak provides a small
      amount of balance to the disinformation being produced by agribusiness
      that is intent on misleading farmers into using their expensive and
      unproven products. despite their damaging effect on the environment.

  • Rob Bairos

    Shiva’s misdirected crusade is making sure biotech industry indeed becomes an oligopoly, as fewer and fewer companies are able to negotiate the regulatory hurdles she encourages.

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