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  • This comes as Añez's de-facto government passed Supreme Decree 4232 on May 7 green-lighting the use of GM seeds for five types of crops: corn, soy, wheat, sugar cane, and cotton.

    This comes as Añez's de-facto government passed Supreme Decree 4232 on May 7 green-lighting the use of GM seeds for five types of crops: corn, soy, wheat, sugar cane, and cotton. | Photo: AFP

Published 12 May 2020

The joint statement from agricultural organizations in the Cochabamba region states that the de-facto President Jeanine Añez went beyond her powers as an interim official violating the country’s constitution.

The Coordinator of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba in Bolivia rejected Tuesday Supreme Decree 4,232 that allows the use of genetically modified (GM) seeds in the South American country.

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The joint statement from agricultural organizations in the Cochabamba region states that the de-facto President Jeanine Añez went beyond her powers as an interim official violating the country’s constitution.

The federations state that using the argument of the coronavirus emergency and the need to “reactive the economy” the measure will only serve the interests of “sectors of the national oligarchy,” affecting those of the people. 

The call was echoed Tuesday by the Indigenous communities in the southern department of Potosi, who also demand the government to repeal the decree immediately. 

This comes as Añez's de-facto government passed Supreme Decree 4232 on May 7 green-lighting the use of GM seeds for five types of crops: corn, soy, wheat, sugar cane, and cotton.

In Bolivia, the de-facto government does not have the moral authority to say that it defends life because all its actions have been, until now, lethal against the people: it kills us with bullets, it kills us with hunger and now it kills us with GMOs.
 

According to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE) these GMOs are already part of Bolivians’ diets since they have been importing them from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay both as ingredients in finished goods or directly as in the case of corn. While commerce unions praise the measure as according to them will allow increased productivity and competitiveness.

However, for the People’s Ombudsman office the decree is not only unconstitutional but violates the right to food security of Bolivians and will only favor some sectors. “This does not benefit the majority but only benefit large business,” local Movement Towards Socialism leader Andronico Rodriguez cautioned. 

The Cochabamba federations warned also that this will allow for the use of glyphosate, an agrotoxin used in about 85 percent of GM crops which is highly harmful to human health. According to many studies by the World Health Organization and other medical institutions, it is directly related to cancer and other illnesses. 

The Speaker of the Senate Eva Copa announced that she will present an appeal to the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal to invalidate the decree as it "goes against the Constitution and health of all Bolivians."

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