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A recent independent field study confirmed that Ecuador, which has a constitutional ban on the introduction of genetically modified (GM) organisms, there are no varieties of genetically modified corn. However, Rafael Correa’s administration has given signs that put organizations on the alert.
At the International Earth Day on April 22, Ecuadorian organizations issued a report where they confirm the existence of GM corn varieties in the country.
Elizabeth Bravo told Real World Radio that the study was inspired by Mexico’s case and said they were satisfied with the results since they didn’t find traces of GM corn.
As part of the debate promoted by the Ecuadorian government to amend the 2008 Constitution that bans GMO, Bravo said the organizations are on the alert to see what will the Legislative Assembly’s position on this issue.
One of the arguments to lift the ban was that the Ecuadorian corn is already contaminated with GMO, something the study proves wrong, said Bravo, the research’s scientific coordinator.
The methodology consisted in assessing the existence of three GM proteins in corn leaves before the bloom period, the organizations who participated in the study explained. The lack of GMO “is something we have to be thankful to our farmers and peasants for, as they have managed to protect our genetic heritage”.
Meanwhile, Josefina Lima, leader of the Otavalo indigenous community, from the north of Ecuador, highlighted the importance of corn to feed the Andean and coastal communities of the country.
“More than silver or gold, corn is the main food of our communities”, said Josefina, who is also a traditional doctor.
In an address on his Saturday program of April 27, recently re-elected President Rafael Correa said “I do not agree with GMO but with common sense. What if a GMO is good for human health? We cannot put constitutional barriers”**.
During the presentation they also read a message from the children of Ecuador in defense of native corn.
* Interview by our Mexican correspondent, Mónica Montalvo, reporting from Ecuador.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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