Open letter opposing release of GMOs in Ecuador
[slightly edited by GMWatch for clarity--please let us know if we've got anything wrong]
OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTRIES, THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, THE OMBUDSMAN, THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT, THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND PEOPLE OF ECUADOR
POSSIBLE RELEASE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS IN ECUADOR
On the website of the Ministry of Environment we find the document "Harmonization of regulatory proposals on the Biosafety of GMOs in the New Constitution", which aims to "make rules to regulate, manage and control the development, research, introduction, production, distribution, release, dissemination, experimentation, contained use, transport, storage, cultivation, marketing, use, export and import of genetically modified organisms..."
We are concerned because it this a clear violation of the provisions of our Constitution in Articles 401, 15, 66, 74, 281 that declare Ecuador to be a country free of genetically modified crops and seeds on the grounds including food sovereignty, the health of the Ecuadorian people, and the rights of nature.
Another reason for concern is the existence of the media campaign created to produce a favorable environment for the entry of GMOs into the country. With the support of the US Department of Agriculture, two events were held for communicators in Guayaquil and Quito which involved a U.S. exhibitor named Wayne Parrott, who in a public interview interpreted the Constitution to state that Ecuador can allow the entry of GM seed and crops (Express, July 21, 2010).
The Ecuadorian population in the exercise of its sovereignty and by majority vote approved the Constitution to declare Ecuador a zone free from GM seeds and crops. This arrangement was reached by a long process of many years of various civil society organizations (farmers, indigenous people, environmentalists, consumers, women's movements and others) who are opposed to GMOs on the grounds that they would cause negative impacts on health, environment, biodiversity and food sovereignty of the Ecuadorian population.
For these reasons we strongly call on all relevant agencies to act according to their powers to defend the Constitution and prevent the possible adoption of this regulation, which appears to be more in line with the interests of the world's largest producer of GM rather than the sovereign decisions of the people and government of Ecuador.
As civil society organizations, we will remain vigilant in defense of our rights guaranteed in the Constitution of Ecuador.