Germany's blockade of Chilean corn imports sets off alarms for the presence of GMOs

Germany's blockade of Chilean corn imports sets off alarms for the presence of GMOs

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One of the federal states of Germany denounced the contamination of traces of transgenic corn NK603 and Mon 803 from Monsanto, for which a member country of the European Union, which has zero tolerance for seed contamination, questions Chile's prestige as a producer of conventional seeds.

This has caused concern from various sectors. The director of the Sustainable Societies Foundation, María Isabel Manzur, described the situation as “serious”, which in her opinion highlights a problem that our country has not yet decided to solve.

“This episode is like the tip of the iceberg because Chile already has several cases of corn contamination. What they have detected now was also detected in 2012, if we go back years, the European Union in 2012 audited Chile for repeated contamination of traditional corn with transgenics that were exported to Europe. Chile promised to establish measures to prevent contamination and well, we see that it seems that they did not work ”, explained Manzur.

The biologist stated that in 2008 they went to the sixth region and were able to verify the existence of contaminated crops. In addition, in 2005, Greenpeace carried out a study where the existence of contaminants was also confirmed. This is in addition to the blow that beekeeping entrepreneurs received in 2011 when the same country confirmed that the honey was contaminated, limiting their entry into the European market.

In this sense, the specialist stated that since 1992, the year in which transgenic crops were released in Chile, they are grown in the open air and their traces travel kilometers by wind to the action of bees, which is difficult to control. Given this, some voices have pointed to the impossibility of the coexistence of organic and modified crops.

"We have been proposing for a long time that organic crops, fundamentally agroecological and conventional, must be defended from the threat of contamination by GMOs," said Lucía Sepúlveda, seed manager of the Pesticides Action Network and their Alternatives.

“We are answered by the authorities whenever coexistence is possible and what they offer farmers today is that. But what we see with this incident is that it is proven that this is not the case, that the risks exist, they are real, and that in this case the harmed will always be the traditional ones, that is, non-transgenic crops, ”Sepúlveda concluded.

The environmentalist added that the National Association of Seed Productions (Anpros) has always guaranteed that the products cannot be contaminated, but that this new precedent would prove otherwise. Faced with this, its president, Mario Schindler, affirmed that it is necessary to know the identification mechanism and the protocols used in Germany, among other relevant information.

“Normally there are several factors that one should look at before taking a position and we do not have that background at the moment. The information we have is the detection of a state in a region of Germany, where in a single batch they would have found minimal traces of the presence of genetically modified organisms and that is all the information we have for the moment. Drawing any kind of conclusion, at that moment, would be totally and absolutely hasty, ”he explained.

The businessman reiterated that coexistence is absolutely possible.

Radio Universidad de Chile contacted the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), who did not deliver any version on the subject.

Radio Universidad Chile

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