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Genetically modified crops on Colombian territory

Genetically modified crops spread like a new plague over our territory. It would seem that no-one cares and that they have a free pass to cover our fields. In Colombia, 85% of consumed corn and 95% of consumed soy is imported, and in essence these are genetically modified.

 

Transgenicos maiz pixabayJohn Elvis Vera Suarez

 

Nowadays, at least 37 countries mantain a ban on the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), amongst them Austria, Germany, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and Venezuela.

In the last 21 years they have gone from 1.7 million to 185 million hectares in the world.

In 2016 there were almost 110,000 hectares planted with GMOs in Colombia (primarily corn) according to the summary of a report in the Semana journal, “El mapa de los transgénicos en Colombia” (The map of GMOs in Colombia).

On this map it is noted that last year 1,282 hectares planted with GMOs existed in the Quindío Department (Colombia). The Agrobio-2016 report states that in 2015, 630 hectares of transgenic corn were sown in this district.

quindio-salento-colombia-pixabayIn response to my request for information on GMO crops in Quindío, the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (Colombian Agricultural Institute) affirmed that there are reports (from the first semester of 2017) that mention that, in Quindío, there are 420 hectares planted with Living Modified Organisms (LMOs).

These areas cover the city of Armenia and the settlements of Caimo and Mesopotamia, the settlement of Barragán situated in the municipality of Calarcá and Montenegro, Pueblo Tapao, Guatemala and La Montaña. The plots range from two to 176 hectares, with an average of 60 hectares.

It must be noted  that through the 2002 Law No. 740 and the 2012 Decree No. 4525, recent governments have given full support to the propagation of the mentioned crops over the territory of Colombia.

Transgenicos maiz prado cultivo pixabayThe interests of big multinationals are being sustained by the GMOs. The tentacles of these multinationals  are imposing their goals on governments which are making new laws to expand their cultivation, farming and use.

It is the global monopolies that are in control, from seeds to toxic agricultural chemicals, from regional commercialisation to global prices, and, clearly, in control of the governments who comply with what the monopolies ask of them.

Science continues to discuss the area of impact of the use and propagation of these plants. The investigations that are financed by agrochemical and GMO multinationals want to make us believe that it is an advance that will contribute to the fight against world hunger, because it augments productivity.

However, one sector that is gathering strength and is not only scientific, but also socio-environmental, is questioning this promise and warning of damage, both environmental and economic, that is already being done in farming communities.

Transgenicos maiz calabaza cultivo pixabay

In this sector the breakdown of security and food sovereignty is being discussed, as well as the risks to human health that GMO consumption poses.

But not all is lost. This year, at a global level, a reduction in these crops has been reported. What is certain is that many farmers have experienced losses with GMO crops.

(Translated by Sarah Claman) Photos: Pixabay

 

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