Marchers will tour country opposing modified corn

Opponents of genetically modified corn plan to march around the country from Nov. 25 until Dec. 2 when they will end up in a vigil at the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería in La Sabana.

The object of the protest is corn produced by Monsanto that resists weed killers. That means a farmer can spray a product like Roundup on a field without killing the corn. The local subsidiary of Monsanto is seeking permission to use the seeds of this variety in Costa Rica. The appeal is to the Comisión Técnica Nacional en Bioseguridad.

Opponents argue that the pollen from the Monsanto corn will invade the genetic structure of local corn and that the corn is a health risk.

The opponents cite a September study by a French research team that has been generally dismissed as flawed.

The march is being organized by the Red por una América Latina Libre de Transgénicos. Also involved is the organizations Amigos de la Tierra and the Bloque Verde.

Amigos de la Tierra also is promoting on its Web site a march against what they say is police repression. The march is Thursday and stemmed from the confrontation between police and a group of protesters that included lawmakers and rowdy students last Thursday.

Amigos de la Tierra organization also opposes free trade and foreign investment.

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