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Jul 15, 2010

Chile - GM Crops Locations Must Be Made Public

On 15 July 2010, SciDev.Net reported that following public requests by Chilean citizens, Chile's Transparency Council has ruled that Chile's agricultural authorities must make public the location of gene-modified (GM) crops and the biosafety regulations taken regarding GM seeds and stockpiles.

Chile's Transparency Council is authorized by the Public Foundation's Law of Transparency and Access to State Information.  In making its ruling, the Council invalidate a former resolution that provided confidentiality regarding GM organisms in Chile.

There are an estimated 30 thousand hectares of cultivated GM crops in Chile including sunflowers, sugar beets, corn, and soybeans.  This information has been registered with Chile's Agriculture Department (Servicio Agricola y Ganadero - SAG) but has been kept in confidence from the public.

The ruling by the Transparency Council requires that SAG provide the information on GM crops to the public, including representatives from environmental and human groups.  These groups have advocated public disclosure so that "organic and conventional farmers can take the [necessary] precautions needed to avoid cross-contamnation, especially from glysophate."

The Transparency Council concluded in its ruling that public disclosure will permit greater social participation in the public debate regarding GM crops and food in Chile. 

For more see: Leighton, Paula. "Ubicación de cultivos GM en Chile deberá ser pública," SciDev.Net, 15 July 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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