Opponents of genetically modified corn will present appeal

Opponents of genetically modified corn will march from the Plaza de la Cultural to the Tribuales de Justicia this morning to deliver a constitutional challenge to the plan to introduce such seeds into Costa Rica.

An announcement said that the Sala IV constitutional court appeal will be filed by José María Villalta Florez-Estrada, the single legislative representative of the left-wing Frente Amplio.

Opposition to genetically modified corn is the most recent campaign for environmentalists and students. Opponents of the plan just marched some 200 kilometers to promote their cause. They oppose the introduction to Costa Rica of a modified corn strain that resists herbicides. Farmers who plant the modified corn can use certain chemicals on the fields to kill weeds without damaging the corn plants.

The proposal to use the modified corn seeds is before the agricultural ministry’s Comisión Técnica Nacional de Bioseguridad. A local subsidiary of Monsanto, Delta & Pine Land y Semillas del Trópico S.A., has sought permission to plant the modified corn.

Among other arguments by opponents is that the pollen of the modified plants will pollute other corn plants because the pollen is distributed by the air.

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