Environmentalists crash seminar

Environmental activists crashed a seminar for reporters Friday and said they distributed information in favor of a national moratorium on genetically modified crops.

The environmentalists, mainly those associated with BloqueVerde, also challenged the firm presenting the seminar, CropLife Latin America, to a television debate.

José Perdomo, the executive president of the non-profit firm, said later that he accepts the debate challenge. He also said the intruders were welcome to attend the entire seminar, which was not limited to genetically modified crops. But they did not, he said.

He said the seminar drew 32 newspeople to learn about challenges to agriculture.

The environmentalists equated CropLife with Monsanto Co., the firm that seeks to cultivate a patch of genetically modified corn near Puntarenas. This is something BloqueVerde opposes.

Perdomo said CropLife is not exclusively Monsanto. The non-profit has nine companies and 23 associations in 18 Latin American countries, and Monsanto is one of the companies.

The environmentalist said the debate would be the first Monday in November on Canal 15. That is the Universidad de Costa Rica station.

news story Friday outlined the hopes of BloqueVerde to pass a law imposing a moratorium on genetically modified crops in Costa Rica.

The union that represents teachers just voted to seek the elimination of modified foods from the public schools.

A reader, Albert Lusk of San Isidro de Heredia, said by email that his firm was about to launch a line of corn chips, tortillas and masa made from certified organic corn grown in Costa Rica. “We would be happy to begin to supply some school systems with non-GMO tortillas,” he said, using the initials for genetically modified organisms.

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