By Silvia Ribeiro *
These are some of the statements that companies and authorities submitted in documents to the courts, contradicting their own sayings that GMOs can coexist with native corn and that they will not affect the environment or biodiversity. Sagarpa also admits that transgenic corn is not designed to increase production and in an opinion sent by the Ministry of Health, it states that it is not within its competence to issue it, thus showing that there is no health risk assessment on the planting transgenic corn!
These responses are part of the thousands of pages that currently constitute the file on the class action lawsuit against the planting of transgenic corn filed by 53 individuals and 20 organizations, legally represented by Colectivas AC. The selection of texts that show that companies and authorities are aware of the risks of transgenics for corn, biodiversity and health –but they privilege business profits– can be consulted on the Maíz File page, in the document The transgenic companies They make us believe one thing, but before justice they recognize reality.
In October 2013, the twelfth district court in civil matters in the Federal District accepted the consideration of this class action lawsuit - which has not yet been resolved - and ordered the suspension of plantings of transgenic corn and the consideration of authorizations by the government. . This precautionary measure was to prevent that while the demand is being discussed, the planting of transgenic corn would continue and the effects that it is required to prevent would advance. Since then, the largest agribusiness transnationals on the planet have dedicated themselves to fighting these resolutions. Together with the Ministries of Agriculture (Sagarpa) and Environment (Semarnat) –which are using their powers and public resources to defend the interests of transnationals– the lawsuit and the suspension have been attacked with 100 challenges in 17 courts, in an attempt to exhaust the plaintiffs and get judges tune $ to the companies. They partially succeeded, but their momentary achievements of canceling the suspension and the lawsuit were reversed by other judges who accepted the plaintiff's appeal.
Maintaining the suspension is a key point, since if that precautionary measure is canceled, even if the trial continues, the companies will quickly flood the fields with transgenics to generate a situation of de facto contamination, on which they will argue that since there is no turning back, it is better to surrender and legalize unlimited planting.
This is precisely the path that multinationals took in countries that today are invaded by transgenics, and that years later present epidemics of cancer, abortions, neonatal malformations, and pesticides in breast milk in planting areas, due to the increased use of poisons that carry transgenics.
In almost all of these countries the contamination was intentional, promoted by the companies directly or through agents in collusion with them, by smuggling seeds or distributing them to farmers who did not know their content. They did it precisely to force legalization despite the negative impacts. Also in Mexico, despite being illegal, transgenic contamination of native peasant maize has been verified, either by the strategy of distributing transgenic seeds to farmers who do not know it, by mixing transgenic seeds in government programs or by the distribution of mixed or contaminated grains through Diconsa stores. Imported corn transports, mostly transgenic, are neither segregated nor observe biosecurity measures.
In itself, transgenic contamination from its origin is intentional and is a constitutive part of transgenic corn: companies knew this since they manipulated an open-pollinated crop - which would necessarily be crossed with other plants - and they patented those genes, in such a way that the pollution became a business, by prosecuting and collecting the pollution victims.
For all this, in the well-attended pre-hearing of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal on Transgenic Contamination of Native Corn, held on April 26 and 27, 2013 in Oaxaca, with dozens of testimonies from farmers, scientists and organizations, the panel of judges concluded Companies know that contamination is inevitable once extensive seeding is done. It will be a crime with premeditation, treachery and advantage, because it intentionally seeks to appropriate food webs. (http://goo.gl/cV3X46).
Resistance to GMOs does not begin or end with legal measures, but from the territories and communities that maintain the seeds and community control. But also, in order not to exponentially increase the burden and risks on peasants and the biodiversity they maintain and are the basis and future of everyone's life, the suspension must be maintained and the planting of transgenics must be prohibited.
* Researcher at the ETC Group