MEXICO, August 18, 2003: Environmental-protectionist
group Greenpeace caught a trainload of US maize as it
tried to enter Mexico today. The group intercepted the
train in response to suspicions that the US was dumping
genetically engineered crops across the border contravening
stop: Greenpeace intercepts a trainload
of USA maize as it tries to enter Mexico.
Activists suspended themselves from the train's axles
to hang below the railway bridge over the Rio Grande
- the Mexican-US border - while Greenpeace representatives
negotiated with the Mexican Government for a ban on
the US dumping of genetically engineered maize into
Scientific analysis, released today, from an independent
US laboratory of US maize samples entering Mexico showed
that almost a third of the maize contained varieties
from biotechnology giant, Monsanto. The Cartagena Protocol,
an international agreement on biotechnology signed January
2000, clearly states that countries must take action
to prevent adverse effects of GE crops on the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity.
"Mexicans are being forced to swallow the destruction of our number one
food source, and the health and environment of the people
who depend on it, because governments around the world
stand back and allow the US to force their trade and
biotechnology corporations' interests on other countries,"
said Liza Covantes, campaigner from Greenpeace Mexico.
There is growing concern among farmers and consumers
over the contamination of traditional seed by gm varieties
as the two co-exist in ever tightening quarters. International
agreements like the Cartagena Protocol were designed
to protect biological diversity from the potential risks
posed by biotechnology.
The Protocol, which has currently been ratified by
54 countries, including Mexico, was never signed by