Mexico Supreme Court Postpones Debate of 7 Injunctions Against Planting GM Soybeans

Beekeeper on Yucatán Peninsula Photo: Robin Canul

Beekeeper on Yucatán Peninsula
Photo: Robin Canul

La Jornada, 8th October 2015Matilde Pérez U.
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) agreed that on October 28 it will discuss the package of seven amparos filed by beekeepers of Yucatán and Campeche against the planting of genetically modified [GM] soybeans, reported Jorge Fernández, attorney for the producers [apiarists].

Yesterday it had been planned that Justice Fernando Franco González would present his paper about the three amparos (241,2015, 270/2015 and 410/2015) filed by Maya authorities in Campeche, and that in the near future Justices Eduardo Medina Mora and Margarita Luna Ramos would rule on four amparo petitions (498/2015, 499/2015, 500/2015 and 198/2015), but it was reported that all seven petitions will be heard on October 28 by members of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court.

In 2012, the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) awarded, without taking the communities into account, a planting permit to Monsanto for growing GM soybeans on 253,000 hectares of the Yucatán Peninsula, on the plain of the Huasteca [Veracruz Coast on Gulf of Mexico] and Chiapas.
Rémy Vandame, researcher at the College of the Southern Frontier, warned that growing GM soybeans puts the bees at risk from the pesticides and agrichemicals used in cultivating the monoculture. He stressed: "Pests in these crops are controlled and fought with substances that are toxic to bees. This is a debate that has been going on for three decades."

Vandame added: "Approval of the planting of GM soybeans on the Yucatán Peninsula doesn’t just put 40 percent of the country’s honey production at risk and threaten the 15,000 families engaged in this activity, but it also endangers the Maya jungle and the region’s cultural and biological diversity."

Vandame explained said that in Argentina, beekeepers on the Pampa had to move to the Andes when diversity of flora on which the bees feed was lost due to the GM soybean monoculture: "In terms of beekeeping, GM soybean crops are desert areas. The flowering time is so short—one or two weeks—that it represents nothing in the way of honey production."

The researcher explained that while the law in the European Union established that honey may contain 0.9 percent traces of GMO, the pollen in it is barely 0.1 percent so it will never reach the limit of the legal restriction. However, export contracts signed by Mexican beekeepers establish that there will be no traces of GMO in their product. All European buyers want Mexican honey free of GMOs, that is, they have zero tolerance for GMOs.

Two years ago, Global Forest Watch stated that over 80,000 hectares of forest cover were lost on the Yucatán Peninsula, which is equal to almost half of what was destroyed in the country. In Campeche alone, 38,000 hectares of virgin jungle were deforested due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier for planting [GM] soybeans.

The lowering of water levels in surface water bodies and numerous illegal drilling of wells are visible in the deforested areas and surrounding areas, added Ma Collective without GMOs.

Translation by Jane Brundage


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