The Puerto Rico Coalition for Ecological Agriculture steps up its campaign against genetically modified crops
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan 28 2010 - With the start of the New Year the Coalition for Ecological Agriculture intends to step up its campaign against genetically modified (GM) crops and Governor Luis Fortuño’s anti-environmental policies, which include fast-track approval for the establishment of agricultural biotechnology industries in the island.
Last August, the Coalition condemned the deceitful way in which governor Luis Fortuño signed into law a bill for the promotion of research and development of agricultural biotechnology industries in Puerto Rico. Coalition spokesperson Ruiz-Marrero noted “it is a fallacy to say that GM crops are an improvement on the genetic code and over existing traditional agriculture. Genetically modified organisms are living beings whose genetic codes have been altered and contain genetic combinations that would have never occurred naturally.” Ruiz-Marrero, author and environmental educator, is an investigative journalist with a focus on biotechnology.
The signed bill “shows a lack of adequate information and assessment regarding the devastating impacts of GM agriculture.”
Another Coalition spokesperson, ecologist Katia R. Avilés-Vázquez, maintained that “by signing the GM law, the governor speeds up, in ‘fast-track’ fashion, the approval of services and permits for GM agri-businesses in the island”. Ruiz-Marrero, accused the governor of “eliminating the few regulations that exist to protect the health of the island’s citizens”. A trend the governor and his administration intensified throughout the year 2009 against community environmental conservation in favor of big business. The Coalition augurs a year of increased struggle to reclaim lost terrain in the fight for sustainable agriculture and environmental justice.
The Coalition is a non-governmental organization that advocates for agricultural practices to improve the nation’s health, as well as its ecological and socio-economic well-being. One of its objectives is to raise awareness, engage the citizenry and have an impact on agricultural public policy.
“The introduction of GM crops and biotechnology industries does not address the structural, political and economic causes of unemployment and the fiscal crisis in the island” stated Avilés-Vázquez, member of the Puerto Rican chapter of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA-PR).
Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero firstname.lastname@example.org
Katia Avilés-Vázquez email@example.com
Puerto Rico Coalition for Ecological Agriculture: firstname.lastname@example.org