• GMO Approval Unconstitutional: Costa Rica Court Rules

    By -
    Costa Rica Court Rules Process for GMO Approval UnconstitutionalOn September 11, 2014, the Sala IV declared the country’s approval process for GMO projects unconstitutional because it violates the right of Costa Ricans to access information that could affect their health and well-being.

    The case was brought to the court by the Ombudsman’s Office on behalf of several anti-GMO groups including Bloque Verde.

    The ruling does not ban GMOs in the country, but will require the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry to design a more transparent GMO approval process, and release information that has been kept from the public in the past.

    In a ruling Thursday lauded by Costa Rica’s anti-GMO activists, the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, struck down the government’s regulatory framework on genetically modified organisms, declaring the process of approval for GMO projects unconstitutional.

    In the court’s opinion, Chief Justice Gilbert Armijo Sancho wrote that the regulations violate the Costa Rican Constitution because the secrecy allowed to GMO companies in terms of the genetic information of their products violates the constitutional right to freedom of information.

    Anti-GMO groups applauded the ruling, which stems from a complaint filed by environmental groups in late 2012.

    “This guarantees that the procedures to authorize GMOs from now on will be accessible to all individuals, which will allow opposition that guarantees the cultivation of these crops will not disrupt the balance of ecosystems or the public health,” the Costa Rican Federation for Environmental Conservation, or FECON, said in a press release.The group also noted that current applications for GMO projects in the country must be put on hold until they comply with the court’s ruling.

    “This is an important precedent that shows the interests of companies linked to this type of activity – among them the multinational Monsanto which is seeking permits to plant corn – have benefited from the granting of permits in a manner that violates the fundamental rights of the population,” FECON said.

    The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry has yet to declare how this ruling will affect GMO projects that were previously approved, including a request from biotechnology giant Monsanto to grow 35 hectares of genetically modified corn that was approved last January. There are currently no GMO corn projects in Costa Rica, and the request’s approval set off a firestorm of protests from environmentalists and health advocates. Because corn pollinates using the air, GMO opponents worry that Monsanto corn seeds could mix with and eventually wipe out native corn species.
    Please Read this Article at



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *