Chile’s curious double standard: Produce GMO seeds for export but not for local planting

american Soybean
Human hand holding soybean with field in background

For years, Chile has had a curious double standard when it comes to genetically modified organisms. The country is a global powerhouse in the production of GM seeds — but makes them strictly off-limits to domestic farmers. Throw any in the ground for the local market, and the crop cops may slap you with a fine … Now the head-spinning policies could be coming under new pressure from the most punishing drought in Chilean history.

The agency that oversees farming decided in 2001 to allow the cultivation of transgenic seeds if they’re destined for export. By the end of 2015, there were more than 9,000 hectares (about 22,200 acres) of GM seed-producing plants in Chile, sprouting products for companies including Bayer and Dow Chemical Co. The country is the fifth-largest producer of transgenic seeds in the world and the biggest exporter in the southern hemisphere.

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A bill that would allow all farmers to sow transgenic seeds for domestic use has been languishing in Congress for 10 years. “Politicians here are afraid of having their names tied to a technology that some groups have been unfairly demonizing,” said Daniel Norero, a Chilean biochemistry fellow at Cornell University and a member of Cornell’s Alliance for Science….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Fined for Planting GMO Seeds in a Country That’s a Global Power

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