San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Parrita becomes Costa Rica's 65th municipality to ban GMO crops

The municipality of Parrita, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, unanimously approved on Nov. 7 a ban on the planting of genetically modified crops. The ordinance was officially ratified and went into effect on Monday.

Parrita is the 65th municipality to pass an ordinance banning GMOs in some form, and only 16 municipal governments in Costa Rica do not have such bans. While many environmental groups have declared that Costa Rica is almost completely GMO-free, without a national law, the ordinances are almost entirely unenforceable. GMO projects already approved by the country’s Agriculture and Livestock Ministry are allowed to continue even in areas with active bans.

Lawmakers are in the process of drafting a national moratorium bill for GMO projects that would halt future genetic modification plans. In June, the Ombudsman’s Office brought a case before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court that could result in a complete constitutional ban of all GMO crops in the country.  

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