Prohibiting the cultivation of transgenic crops in Costa Rica is good news.
Unfortunately this will have no effect on the obesity, cancer and general health epidemic facing Costa Rica because some of the primary foodstuffs consumed here, like wheat and corn are not produced in Costa Rica. Costa Rica imports corn, soy and wheat. In the U.S. it is estimated that 90 percent of the corn and soy is genetically modified. GM soy and corn are grown in other large producing countries in the western hemisphere as well.
GM soy and corn are either bred to contain glyphosate or bred to be immune to its application, allowing farmers to indiscriminately spray their weeds with as much glyphosate as they want, because it won’t kill the corn plant. In the U.S. they haven’t licensed GM wheat yet. They have done test plantings in 15 states which have already contaminated non-GM wheat in those states. But don’t worry, they are already using glyphosate to help preserve the wheat when in storage. They spray it directly on the unmilled wheat. Almost everyone in the U.S. is testing positive for glyphosate now.
Glyphosate is an anti-biotic, so it kills bacteria. We have to ask ourselves, “could eating all these anti-biotics might have something to do with the gastritis, colitis, stomach cancer and other digestive tract diseases that are epidemic among the Costa Rican population?”
It’s not just the wheat, soy and corn though. There is a long list of common ingredients from citric acid to molasses that are genetically modified now too. I walked to the supermarkets here once, read the labels in the grocery sections, not the produce/meat/cheese sections, and estimate that at least 50 percent of the packaged items had at least one item that was GM or could be. Transgenic or GM foods are everywhere in Costa Rica. All of the livestock feed is GM. All the pet food is GM.
We need to use this time, this increased awareness to go the whole way. We need to ban any products that contain GM materials that are not clearly labeled now. We need to have our universities study these things independent of any governmental or corporate influence and, if warranted, recommend prohibiting the importation of GM foods into Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is not a big country but it can speak with a very very big voice. Lets say Pura Vida to transgenics.