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January 22nd, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) 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.