A Legislative Assembly commission on agriculture on Tuesday will begin discussing a bill that would place a moratorium on the production of genetically modified crops in the country.
The proposal responds to demands from environmentalists, farmers and other groups opposed to the continued introduction of GMOs into Costa Rica’s agriculture. GMO projects already have been approved by the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and are allowed to continue even in municipalities that already have active bans.
The bill calls for a moratorium on GMOs “to be maintained across the country until there is certainty and scientific consensus on the risks involved.”
Anti-GMO groups called the proposal a “visionary step for the country to become an international leader in the field of sustainability,” according to a statement issued by the Costa Rican Federation for Environmental Conservation (FECON).
The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry approved the first GMO project in 1991. At the time multinational biotech company Monsanto began growing genetically modified soybeans and cotton to create seed for export. To date, none of the GMOs produced in Costa Rica are licensed for consumption.
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