Press Release: Mexican Peasant Farmers, Scientists, Social Movements win legal battle against transnational corporations
For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2016
This morning the Second Unitarian Tribunal in Civil and Administrative matters, headed by the federal magistrate, Benjamin Soto Sanchez, announced the ruling of the appeal made by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) in refraining from issuing permits to release or plant GM maize until the collective action promoted by scientists, specialists, and peasant farmers is resolved definitely.
With this resolution, the decision made by the District Twelve federal court on Civil matters last August, which negated the permanent ban of planting GMOs, is revoked. In spite of the decision made last August, the ban on planting GMOs remained in force in its provisional character due to the immediate appeal presented by the Collective Action of Maize. “Today, we can confirm that the precautionary measure of this ban is now definite until the collective action is resolved or there is an injunction,” informed the representative of the Collective Action of Maize, Adelita San Vicente Tello and the legal representative, Rene Sánchez Galindo.
The scientists and specialists that have signed and head the Collective Action have acted without any conflict of interest, as they don’t depend on or have any relationship with the transnational corporations. The scientists who are part of the Collective Action are Antonio Turrent Fernández, on agronomy; Victor Manuel Toledo, on environment; on matters of anthropology, history and culture, Julio Glockner and Narciso Barrera Bassols; on ethics and gastronomic heritage, Raul Hernandez Garciadiego; on human rights, Miguel Concha Malo, director of the Fray Center Vitoria; and in the food heritage sector, Luciano Concheiro and Patricia Moguel.
The transnational corporations that have been sued since July 2013 are Monsanto, Syngenta, Pioneer, DuPont and Dow. In addition, the scientists are suing SAGARPA and SEMARNAT.
The ruling of the magistrate Soto Sánchez established that within the Collective Action trial there was evidence of the unlawful presence of GMOs in native maize cultivation. We can affirm that those presenting the collective action have proven that Mexican and International laws have been violated. For this reason, it will no longer be possible to provide permits for GMOs in the commercial phase.
The ruling of the federal appeals court granted another victory to scientists because any experimental plantings will be subject to monthly monitoring and evaluation carried out by both the federal judge and scientists who won this legal battle.
The results of the experimental plantings that were permitted in 2009 were never under public scrutiny. However, with the legal sentencing it will be possible to evaluate on a monthly basis whether the measures of contention and efficacy have been fulfilled, so the experimental permits that were valid can be revoked by the acting judge, or by petition.
In addition, the GMOs that are planted experimentally and that use the herbicide glyphosate, will be subject to legal control and to the scientists within the Collective Action.
Francia Gutiérrez Hermosillo
About the Collective Action of Maize:
René Sánchez Galindo. 55 05 43 60 42 48