Mexican Judge Throws Out Monsanto Appeal To Confirm GM Maize Ban

Mexican Judge Throws out Monsanto Appeal to Confirm GM Maize Ban (Sustainable Pulse, Dec 30, 2013):

A Mexican judge has thrown out the appeals of Mexico’s SEMARNAT (Environment and Natural Resources Ministry), and Monsanto, who were attempting to overturn a September court ruling that banned the planting of GM maize in Mexico.

Acción Colectiva, a group of 53 scientists and 22 organizations, which successfully brought the case to ban GM maize in Mexico, is led by Father Miguel Concha of the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco de Vittoria; Victor Suarez of ANEC (National Association of Rural Commercialization Entertprises); Dr. Mercedes Lopéz of Vía Organica; and Adelita San Vicente, a teacher and member of Semillas de Vida, a national organization that has been involved in broad-based social action projects to protect Mexico’s important status as a major world center of food crop biodiversity.

Sanchez Galindo stated that “the new court decision will maintain the temporary suspension of all trials and commercial planting of GM maize in Mexico, ordered by the first court ruling in September.”

The latest decision also goes further in securing the first judgement by stating that even if a new court case is filed on this subject by Monsanto and its government supporters, the suspension shall remain in effect until the appeals court has made a final ruling.

The Mexican federal government had allowed trial crops of GM maize to be planted in Mexico since 2009 before the shock decision in September made by the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City. Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” as the basis for the decision.

The Judge’s ruling means that multinationals such as Monsanto and Pioneer are legally banned from releasing GM maize into the Mexican countryside.

Father Miguel Concha said the Judge’s decision reflected a commitment to respect the Precautionary Principle expressed in various international treaties and statements on human rights. Concha emphasized that the government is obliged to protect the human rights of Mexicans against the economic interests of big business.

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