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8-Misc: Successful demonstration in Uruguay against GMOs

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TITLE:  Successful demonstration in Uruguay against GMOs
SOURCE: Cono Sur Libre de Transgˇnicos, Uruguay
DATE:   November 22, 2000

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Successful demonstration in Uruguay against GMOs

"For life, for diversity, for the people. Against GMO, transnationalÕs 
globalization and the commercialization of life" was the motto of the 
demonstration organized last November 20, in front of the Conrad Hotel in 
Punta del Este, a luxury seaside resort in Uruguay, which hosted the XVII 
Pan American Seed Seminar, and the International Forum on Biotechnology and 
Marketing of Seed, November 20-22, 2000. The event was organized by FELAS 
(Latin American Seed Federation) and congregated the big corporations 
involved in genetic engineering applied to agriculture.

Several Uruguayan trade unions, students, organic farmers, NGOs, consumers 
and others gathered to voice their opposition to transgenic food and crops 
and denounce the pressure on the large majority of Latin American and 
Caribbean countries to accept them. They see with great concern that 
Uruguay hosts this kind of meeting while a public debate on the convenience 
of the use of GMOs and their risks -either to health and the environment- 
is still missing at the national level. Uruguay could also loose the 
opportunity of selling itself as a "natural country", which still has a 
livestock production with very low levels of agrochemicals. The organizing 
and supporting groups also denounce the alleged positive impact on 
productivity of GMOs and offered evidence to the contrary.

The demonstration was organized by REDES-Friends of the Earth, Uruguay, 
GRAIN (Genetic Resources Action International), RAP-AL (Pesticides Action 
Network-Latin American) and UITA (International Food WorkerÕs Trade Union), 
and supported by national and Argentinean, Bolivian, Brazilian, Colombian, 
Costa Rican, Equatorial, Spanish, Honduran and Paraguayan organizations.

The Uruguayan Committee of Risk Evaluation from the Ministry of Agriculture 
has already authorized the use and sale of Monsanto Round up Ready soya, 
without fully considering the potential environmental, health and social 
impact for the country and producers, as well as the potential economical 
setback due to the growth of markets demanding GMO-free products.

A street theater group, with colorful disguises and music gave a cheerful 
tone to the activity and dramatized the opposition to genetic engineering 
as a way of creating or modifying living beings.

For further information or to receive photographs of the November 20 
demonstration in Punta del Este, please contact:

Vivianne Garc’a
Cono Sur Libre de Transgˇnicos/GMO-free Southern Cone
Calle Defensa 1684
Tel. (5982)402 87 99
Montevideo 11200
Uruguay E-mail:

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