Greenpeace Stops Ship Carrying Contaminated Corn

July 6, 2010

This morning, two Greenpeace activists, from Argentina and Mexico, attached themselves to the anchor chain of a ship carrying 40,000 tons of genetically engineered corn destined for the port of Veracruz, the largest port in Mexico. This action reinforces the Mexican government's rights to reject U.S. genetically engineered (GE) corn, put in place yesterday.

This morning, two Greenpeace activists, from Argentina and
Mexico, attached themselves to the anchor chain of a ship carrying
40,000 tons of genetically engineered corn destined for the port of
Veracruz, the largest port in Mexico. This action reinforces the
Mexican government’s rights to reject U.S. genetically engineered
(GE) corn, put in place yesterday.

“The U.S. dumping of genetically engineered corn in Mexico must
stop immediately,” says Doreen Stabinsky, Greenpeace campaigner. We
are dealing with an emergency situation where one of the world’s
most important staple food crops is at risk due to genetic
contamination. Mexico is the biological origin for corn and it
needs to be protected.”

U.S. companies like Monsanto are ignoring Mexico’s right to
reject genetically engineered corn. Greenpeace has stopped the
first shipment of genetically engineered corn entering Mexico since
a new international law to protect biodiversity came into force
yesterday allowing countries to reject genetically modified
organisms (GMOs).

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety entered into force
yesterday– a treaty which Mexico has ratified. The international
community has adopted this legally binding global agreement to
safeguard the environment, biological diversity and human health
against the irreversible risks posed by GMOs. The Protocol clearly
states that countries must take action to prevent the adverse
effects of GMOs on the conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity.

Greenpeace is calling on the Mexican and other governments to
ensure that the Biosafety Protocol prevails over the WTO and its
environmentally and socially destructive trade rules,” said
Stabinsky. The Biosafety Protocol allows developing countries to
protect their food supplies from corporate interests”

“The U.S. is defending its continued dumping of crops on export
markets at 30 percent below the costs of production despite growing
demands from the South to end dumping. At the same time the US is
defending the interests of biotech giants like Monsanto by using
the WTO as a political weapon to aggressively attack GMO
restrictions worldwide,” says Stabinsky.

Last month Greenpeace intercepted
and blocked a trainload of U.S. maize as it tried to enter Mexico,
demanding that the Mexican government undertake an assessment of
the scope and magnitude of the GE contamination in Mexico and
declare an immediate halt to the importation of GE corn.

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