GENET archive


2-Plants: Puerto Rico host to biotech crop experiments

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TITLE:  Puerto Rico host to biotech crop experiments
SOURCE: Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety
DATE:   02 Feb 2006

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(Thursday, February 2 2006) The establishment of the AgReliant Genetics
company in the municipality of Santa Isabel reinforces Puerto Rico's
role as a laboratory for experiments with genetically engineered (GE)
crops, exposing the Caribbean island to multiple environmental and human
health risks and compromising the integrity of its agriculture, warned
the Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety.

The establishment of biotechnology companies in Puerto Rico forms part
of the so-called "knowledge economy" that the current administration is
promoting, as evidenced in the governor's speech last Monday.

"We are gravely concerned by governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá's policy of
fast track approval for every type of biotechnology-related activity in
Puerto Rico, without the most minimal precautionary measures to
determine what impacts these could have on our ecology, public health
and agriculture", declared the Project on Biosafety.

"The technology of genetic engineering is inherently risky, unstable and
unpredictable", said environmental educator Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero, the
organization's director and founder. "To this day there is not a single
independent peer-reviewed scientific study that says that genetically
engineered foods are safe for human consumption, and for this reason
these novel products should be treated with extreme caution."

The Puerto Rico Project of Biosafety was founded in 2004 to educate the
citizenry about the impacts ot genetically engineered products.

US Agriculture Department documents show that, with the exception of
Hawaii, no state of the American union has as many experimental GE crop
test plots per square miles as Puerto Rico.

The non-governmental organization advises that Puerto Rico could have an
ecologically sound agriculture, with justice for farmers and serving the
best interests of the Puerto Rican consumer, but that such an advanced
form of agriculture is incompatible with the model promoted by the
government, which is environmentally risky, intensive in the use of
toxic agrochemicals, and benefits only transnational agribusiness

For more information:
"Puerto Rico's Biotech Harvest", by Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

(787) 771-4473, 203-2615
Darlington Building, apartment #703 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00925


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
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D - 38116 Braunschweig

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