Just days after the global March Against Monsanto, two new developments have anti-GMO activists claiming victory: The Big Island of Hawaii passed a GMO prohibition bill, and a judge in Mexico instated a nationwide ban on GMO corn, effective immediately.
When it comes to efforts to label and restrict the cultivation of genetically-engineered foods, activists often feel like they're fighting a losing battle. Monsanto and other biotech companies are enormous, international conglomerates with billion-dollar bank accounts. Most activists only have signs and a phone tree, but the recent laws passed in Mexico and Hawaii prove that the message is getting through, and not every government is as controlled by corporate money as the U.S. appears to be.
According to NSNBC, the Big Island of Hawaii County Council Committee passed a GMO prohibition bill by a vote of 6-2. The new law would ban all open air cultivation of GMOs, with the exception of papaya which already has genetically-modified forms being grown on the island. Kaua'i County councilmembers voted to approve a similar measure to restrict the use of pesticides by companies developing genetically modified crops on the island of Kauai.
Mexico, which put a hold on new GMO plantings in 2011, finalized a decision on genetically-engineered corn this week as well. According to the press release issued by La Copachera, a Mexican Federal Judge has ordered Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture and the SEMARNAT, which is similar to the EPA to:
"Immediately suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings."
The Judge cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” among his reasons for ruling against GMO corn.
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