Bayer GMO seed factory expansion in Chile sparks outcry from environmental groups

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“Fuera Bayer-Monsanto de Chile” (Bayer-Monsanto out of Chile) is written on the colorfully painted posters held by protesters on the streets of Chile’s capital.

About 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Santiago are the two largest seed production factories in Chile. In September 2018, shortly after the German company acquired Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science announced the modernization of its plant in Viluco. It’s the only vegetable seed factory in South America and one of the company’s three major factories worldwide.

The majority of the population here lives from agriculture. In 2016, even before its merger with Bayer, Monsanto had announced the expansion of the factory. To oppose the company’s plan, a group of citizens in Paine founded the Paine Defense Committee.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Organic vs GMO debate distracts from real food security issues

“The largest seed processing factory in Latin America is currently being built here. There are no studies on its impact on the environment. The politicians gave approval to the project without seeking the public’s opinion,” Camila Olavarria, the committee’s spokeswoman, criticized.

“We want to modernize the technology and processes so that the factory meets the standard of the factories in the Netherlands and the United States,” Yuri Charme of Bayer Crop Science [said] ….

Read full, original article: Bayer building Latin America’s largest seed factory in Chile

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