Stop Del Monte GM pineapple

Pineapples

Photo: samurai/FreeDigitalPhotos

The Costa Rican Coordination Network on Biodiversity calling for European consumers to take action after the Costa Rican Government granted LM Veintiuno permission to expand the area cultivated with a genetically modified (GM) pineapple called “Piña Rose”.

They granted the permission despite the doubts and the lack of information on the impacts of large-scale GM pineapple production.

LM Veintiuno has experimented with growing GM pineapple since 2005 in the south of Costa Rica, on land that belongs to a subsidiary of Del Monte. In November 2010 LM Veintiuno asked for permission to plant 80 to 200 hectares of Piña Rose in Puntarenas province.

The National Technical Commission on Biosafety of the Ministry of Livestock and Agriculture, authorised expanding the areas planted with GM pineapple.

Network on Biodiversity say the commission took the decision despite warnings of environmental damage from ecological and peasant organizations.

Agronomist engineer Laura Orias, representative of the Network at the National Technical Commission on Biosafety said the commission took the decision “despite the many doubts and lack of information about the impact of large-scale GM pineapple cultivation”.

Environmental activist Fabian Pacheco, who represented the ecologists at the Commission, stated that “authorizing 10 lines of GM pineapple is unacceptable until objective studies guarantee that GM crops are harmless. GM crops entail environmental risks and risks to human health, planting these lines of GM pineapple is irresponsible and it mocks the Precautionary Principle”.

Jose Maria Villalta, of the Frente Amplio party said “granting permission would be ecological suicide for Costa Rica... We have not been able to supervise conventional pineapple plantations. There are more and more problems of water pollution, erosion and destruction of forests. The authorities can't even control the conventional crops”.

Eight municipal governments in Costa Rica have banned the harvest of GM crops based on the Precautionary Principle, while they promoted organic farming and the rescue of peasant seeds.

The environmentalists demand the Costa Rican Government enforce this principle in a country that also has GM soy and cotton plantations.

Take Action

Please send a polite e-mail to Chuck Vogt, National Sales Manager, Food Ingredients at Del Monte asking him to stop LM Veintiuno growing GM pineapple.