Victory In Mexico: Indigenous Activists Win Major Court Rulings Against Monsanto
Now before planting and farming GMO soy in Yucatán peninsula, Monsanto will need to consult with indigenous communities beforehand!
Monsanto intended to farm GMO soybean in more than 250,000 hectares of the Yucatán region, but a Mexican court has suspended the Biotech corporation’s permit. They based the judgment on the constitutional law that demands the attention of indigenous communities which is affected by development projects.
The principal organizations concerned in stopping genetically modified soy farming in Mexico were the Maya beekeepers. The group is made up of approximately 15,000 Maya families who provide and collect honey and who filed the injunction. They had the support of Indignación and Litiga OLE and Greenpeace.
The primary concern for the Mayans is that “growing the plant requires the use of glyphosate, a herbicide classified as probably carcinogenic,” placing their environment, communities, and economic activities at risk.
Monsanto maintains the argument that genetically modified soybean do not affect honey production or the wellbeing of the bees. However, Monsanto has been linked to significant Mexican deforestation as the company continues to grow its agrochemical interests in the area.
Transnational agrochemical companies since 2013, have been desperately requesting approval from the federal government to lift the provisional ban on the sales of transgenic maize seeds in the country.
The ban was modified in August 2015 But, judge Benjamin Soto Sánchez, which is the head of the second Unitarian Court in Civil and Administrative Matters of the First Circuit, ordered a new court verdict in early November of the same year. He “upheld a provisional suspension prohibiting federal agencies from processing and granting the privilege of sowing or releasing into the environment of transgenic maize in the country.”
Judge Sánchez made this decision because of intense activism from organizations such as Colectividad en Defensa del Maíz (CDM), and they were supported by Greenpeace México. The attorney for CDM, René Sánchez, acclaimed the court’s decision and stated that sowing of transgenic seeds “threatens the biological diversity, agricultural activities, and culture of Mexico.”
In Yucatán, around 30% of the soy comes from genetically modified seeds, and across Mexico, 30% of maize also comes from genetically modified seeds. At the moment, Mexico is a massive importer of GMO yellow corn from the U.S., and it counts for about 90% of the Mexico market. Mexico entered a prominent Latin American movement to stop companies like Monsanto from spreading into their countries.
Governments around the world have chosen to make their stand against seed bullies such as Monsanto. People have spoken loud and clear. They oppose the spread of genetically modified crops and the corporate virus that heads them. Everyone loses when genetically engineers seeds enter the ecosystem. Hopefully, more nations will decide to minimize or in the best case scenario ban them.