April 21, 2004, as reported
by Venezuelanalysis.com: President Hugo Chavez Frias has
announced that the cultivation of genetically modified crops will
be prohibited on Venezuelan soil, possibly establishing the most
sweeping restrictions on transgenic crops in the Western Hemisphere.
Though full details of the administration's policy on genetically
modified organisms (GMOs) are still forthcoming, the statement by
President Chavez will lead most immediately to the cancellation
of a contract that Venezuela had negotiated with the US-based Monsanto
Before a recent international gathering of supporters in Caracas,
President Chavez admonished genetically engineered crops as contrary
to interests and needs of the nation's farmers and farm workers.
He then zeroed in on Monsanto's plans to plant up to 500,000 acres
of transgenic soybeans in Venezuela.
"I ordered an end to the project," said President Chavez,
upon learning that transgenic crops were involved. "This project
is terminated." President Chavez emphasized the importance
of food sovereignty and security -- required by the Venezuelan Constitution
-- as the basis of his decision. Instead of allowing Monsanto to
grow its transgenic crops, these fields will be used to plant yuca
(an indigenous crop), Chavez explained. He also announced the creation
of a large seed bank facility to maintain indigenous seeds for peasants'
movements around the world.
Read the full article at http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1254