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9-Misc: Network for a Chile Free of GMOs rejects national biotechreport

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TITLE:  Network for a Chile Free of GMOs rejects the National
        Biotechnology Commission's report
SOURCE: Network for a Chile Free of GMOs, Press Release
DATE:   Jul 16, 2003

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Network for a Chile Free of GMOs rejects the National Biotechnology
Commission's report

The Network for a Chile Free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) has
thoroughly studied the National Commission on the Development of
Biotechnology's report that was sent to the President. The network would
like the public to know the following:

The network does not support the findings of the report and does not
guarantee that the country's development is sustainable. The report only
reflects the perspective of the academic sector that manages and owns
biotechnological companies. They, of course, hope to promote GMOs. The
report does not include the perspective of important farming groups such
as organic farmers and apiaries, nor the perspective of institutions who
work for the good of the people. Such institutions include those focused
on environmental conservation, biodiversity, and food consumption.

The network also rejects the Commission's recommendation to relax laws
regarding the distribution and national consumption of GMO crops, trees,
and hydrobiological resources. This rejection stems from the fact that
GMOs can negatively affect biodiversity, processing factories, and export
markets, contaminating conventional and organic products. Chile has
signed the Protocol of Biosecurity that recognizes that GMOs are
different, dangerous, and require special regulations. The technological
advances and inspection processes are at this point inadequate to permit
relaxed laws regarding GMOs.

 The network would also like to denounce the excessive increase in recent
years of permits allowing for the cultivation of genetically modified
seeds that are to be exported. During the past year, the land used to
cultivate GMOs has increased by 11.000 ha. Most of the land is used to
cultivate corn, and some is used for pharmaceutical cultivation that
requires even stricter regulations.

In light of this information, we are calling for a moratorium on the
liberation of GMOs in Chile until there is a public discussion on the
subject and strict regulations are put in place that are based on the
Precautionary Principle adopted by Chile in the Declaration at Rio de
Janeiro, in 2002.

With regard to the Commission's proposal for nutritional labels on some
GMO food products, we instead call for mandatory labels on all GMO food
products. The Consumer's Law grants all consumers the right to know the
true origin and content of their food and the ability to choose what
products to buy. We also demand the ratification of the Protocol of
Biosecurity will come into effect next September.

The network believes laws regarding GMOs in Chile should be decided in a
public process that is open to citizens and does not occur behind closed
doors. The network urges the government to consider and respect the
legitimate interests of all the people and not just foreign economic
interests that promote massive international GMO commerce.

The Network for a Chile Free of GMOs was created in 1999, and is a
coalition of 19 organizations of which eight are environmental, four work
for consumer rights, and seven work for organic agriculture. The
network's goal is for Chile to be completely free of GMOs, or if there
must be GMOs in Chile, that they are well regulated, thereby eliminating
their harmful effects

Network for a Chile Free of GMOs:
Red Nacional de Acción Ecológica (RENACE)
Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios de Chile (ODECU)
Movimiento Agroecológico de Chile (MACH)
Comité Nacional Pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora (CODEFF)
Instituto de Ecología Política (IEP)
Liga de Consumidores Conscientes
Fundación Sociedades Sustentables
Cet Sur
Corporación de Investigación en Agricultura Alternativa (CIAL)
Agrupación de Agricultura Orgánica de Chile, A.G. (AAOCH)
Canelo de Nos


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

phone:  +49-531-5168746
fax:    +49-531-5168747
mobile: +49-162-1054755
email:  genetnl(at)