Class action lawsuit attacks GMOs for environmental damage and health impacts
A federal judge in Argentina has ruled that an unprecedented class action lawsuit, demanding a ban on the release of GMOs and their associated pesticides, can proceed.
The lawsuit asks the government to provisionally suspend the uncontrolled open release of GMOs – for example, the sale of RR2 Pro/Liberty soybeans – on the grounds that they violate seed laws. The lawsuit also demands labelling of GMOs.
The lawsuit further argues for “a ban on the application of pesticides used for farming until their safety for the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity, the health of living beings, the cultural heritage of the Argentine people, and the sustainability of the production model is scientifically proven”.
The lawsuit primarily attacks GMOs for their contribution to the trend towards monoculture, direct seeding with consequent reduction of rural labor, economic concentration in the hands of few producers, and impacts on the health of rural populations and the environment.
The lawsuit demands that the commercialisation of new GMOs is not permitted in the country. It is titled, “Gimenez Alicia Fanny and others against the national government, Monsanto and others, over environmental damage".
The defendants are the Argentine national government, the Federal Council for the Environment, and a group of companies, including Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Novartis, Nidera, Dow Agrosciences, Pioneer, Agrevo, Ciba Geigy, Argenbio, and Bayer, that produce and sell GMOs and the agrochemicals tied to their use.
The lawsuit also urges the Legislature to pass a biosafety law, set minimum standards for use of soil resources, and order the defendants to "rebuild” or "repair" environmental damage caused by the GMO farming model. This would be achieved through the reintroduction of non-GMO cultivars and wild species, and the rebuilding of soil. If these measures are not possible, the lawsuit demands that the companies be ordered to pay compensation.