Cuba begins in silence with transgenic maize (corn)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Without much ado is Cuba began with the cultivation of transgenic maize. Academics store alarm.

According to the State Juventude Rebelde newspaper, there are 60 hectares of transgenic maize sown in test plots in the provinces of Sancti Spiritus, Havana, Matanzas, Ciego de Ávila and Santiago de Cuba. The corn comes from the Cuban Center for Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the main scientific institution in the island.

The Cuban press barely made mention of the experiment. Farmers hardly know what is going on. The debate about the pros and cons and the risks remain within the walls of universities and scientific congresses.

The CIGB maize is resistant to pests and herbicides, which have increased efficiency, says Raúl Armas of the research. The aim is to obtain a seed production may be extended, if the authorities give permission.


Especially proponents of organic agriculture with indigenous varieties against the Cuban plans. Professor Eduardo Freyr of the Agricultural University of Havana praises the work of the CIGB and his attempts to "exceptional guarantees for the Bio safety to obtain.

But at the same time he fears that the new corn to allergies, cancer, immunological problems, infertility and other health problems can result. "And I still do not have the transgenic contamination of wild species and that the non-transgenic cultivated species at risk." According to Freyr, the technology tailored to the interests of multinationals and the market made ".

Cuba in 2002 ratified the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety. But the international negotiations on the determination of responsibility and compensation for damage are the main Latin American and Caribbean countries that the introduction of a binding system to try to delay or impede.

Silvia Ribeiro of the Canadian NGO ETC was in February as an observer at the talks. "Cuba did not say much at that meeting, but they followed it the attitude of the whole block, which is serious." It is "regrettable" that Cuba after years of "fairly strict views on biosecurity now transgenic maize in open fields to sow seeds to produce. "

Globally, all transgenic crops grown since 1996. The total area is now 125 million hectares. Leaders, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and China. In early March put the Mexican government the green light for the experimental cultivation of transgenic maize. IPS (RP, JG)

Original Source: IPS.
Translated version of 5D=24629

Source: ditkannietwaarzijn

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