San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Environment Minister Calls for GMO Moratorium

ENVIRONMENT Minister CarlosManuel Rodríguez has requested a moratoriumon the growth of genetically modifiedorganisms (GMOs) in Costa Rica.Rodríguez wrote a letter earlier thismonth to the Ministry of Agricultureexpressing concern about the safety andpossible environmental impacts ofGMOs. In the letter, Rodríguez said themoratorium should take place while therisks and impacts of GMOs are studied.The letter came in response to anti-GMO groups, operating within theBiodiversity Coordination Network,who first called for a moratorium inApril based on concerns geneticallymodified crops will contaminate regularagriculture (TT, April 23).The Agriculture Ministry is currentlyattempting to create a comprehensiveapproach to GMOs in Costa Rica governinglegislation handling and import/exportregulations for GMOs (TT, April 2).Costa Rica now has slightly more than600 hectares of genetically modified cottonand soy.Last month, anti-GMO groups celebratedthe closure of the Costa Rican office ofGMO-giant Monsanto (TT, Oct. 1).However, Monsanto later said closureis merely the result of restructuring, andthe company is still very interested inbringing modified crops to Costa Rica.

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